Hugh Hefner

Baltimore Jack and the Playboy Bunnies

Baltimore Jack and the Playboy Bunnies

The great emotional au revoir for Bao Bao, the giant panda shipped last month from the National Zoo in Washington to China where, the idea is, she will mate and produce another rare panda, brought to mind one of the most hilarious events in my experience as a newspaperman at The Baltimore Sun.

This is the story of Baltimore Jack, a 500-pound, 18-year-old gorilla The Baltimore City Zoo (as it was known then) had agreed in 1970 to sell for $5,000 to the zoo in Phoenix, Ariz., where it was hoped that Jack would go ape over Hazel, a 10-year-old beauty in residence there.

It was the kind of story that made newspapering great fun for everyone involved, back in the day...