The Bronx Zoo (officially, the New York Zoological Park) had been envisioned by its founders as the largest zoo in the world and “the grandest zoological establishment on earth.” The zoo was directed by zoologist William Temple Hornaday, who had formerly worked at the Smithsonian. Overseeing Hornaday was an Executive Committee chaired by Henry Fairfield Osborn, a distinguished professor at Columbia University. Hornaday and Osborn had dreams of exhibiting more than just animals at their new zoo.
For more information:
Spectacle: The Astonishing Life of Ota Benga by Pamela Newkirk (Book)