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Think and Drink with Legendary Zoo Leaders

Get up close and personal with historic interpreters Wes Mason and Vik Cowan as they take on the personalities of some of the Zoo’s most important people from the past: Dr. Harry Wegeforth, founder of the San Diego Zoo, and Belle Benchley, second to become the director of the Zoo and the first woman to hold the position in a major zoo in 1927.

Dressed in period attire and embodying the world view of the 1910s, listen as they greet guests and engage in a rousing evening conversations about how they managed to get the now world famous San Diego Zoo up and running.

Sip a drink and think about the challenges, triumphs, and even defeats that the two overcame in the fledgling years of the Zoo. Wegeforth’s Folly; Benchley in the Depression Years; Introducing new concepts in animal care and protection; each will reveal how these events and each other impacted the ultimate success of the Zoo, making it a global leader in the elimination of extinction.

Each guest will receive one complimentary beverage prior to the presentation and access to the exhibit, The Lore Behind the ROAR! 100 Years of the San Diego Zoo.

Meet our historic interpreters:

E. Wesley Mason also known as ‘Wild’ Wes grew up in San Diego and was a frequent visitor to the San Diego Zoo and SeaWorld where learned the basics of conservation and the importance of preserving our wild environment.  As an adult he spent years working for the Education departments of both institutions before branching out entirely on his own.  Today Wes is founder and operator of Wild Wes Productions a recording studio where he produces a number of animal and conservation themed songs and performs regularly at the San Diego Zoo.  Wes most recently released his first album featuring Save the World.

Vik Cowan also known as ‘Mother Meerkat’ is an avid animal lover who as a zoo educator has decades of history with the Zoo.  In addition to teaching programs Vik is involved in developing curriculum for regional educators to advance the goal of the Zoo to eliminate extinction.


Thornton Theater, San Diego History Center
Wednesday, May 18, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $10 SDHC & San Diego Zoo Members; $15 non-members
Light Reception; Cash bar


May 18, 2016
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm


San Diego History Center
1649 El Prado, Suite 3
San Diego, CA 92101 United States
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