Dr. Schroeder Returns
After working as the Zoo’s first veterinarian and research scientist, Dr. Charles Schroeder had left the Zoo for other opportunities in New York, came back to work on veterinary and nutrition research for a while, then left for the East Coast again.
Belle Benchley had stayed in contact with him through the years and had been trying to coax him back to the San Diego Zoo, convinced that he would eventually “come home.” In fact, she wouldn’t retire until she knew he had accepted the position as Zoo director. Finally, it seemed he was willing. When she heard he had said yes, she said “I couldn’t be more happy if it were my own son.”
She wrote to him and said, “To know I am leaving this in such capable hands, to one who has so complete a picture of what Dr. Harry has tried to do, makes me deeply happy.” Belle left some very big shoes to fill, but Charlie Schroeder was up to the task. Quite familiar with the Zoo and all it had accomplished, he threw himself into expanding its growing reputation as one of the best zoos in the world.