Asheboro, NC - Jonathan Kingdon, whose books and illustrations of East African mammals have served as a reference for zoologists worldwide for more than three decades, will launch a new six-volume update of his landmark publications at the North Carolina Zoo next week

Kingdon, a professor with the Zoology Department at Oxford University in England, is a long-time friend of N.C. Zoo Director Dr. David Jones and chose to launch the revised version of his pioneering publication during a series of appearances at the State Zoo and in Asheboro.

“Jonathan is probably the world’s leading authority on the mammals of Africa,” Jones observed. “His original seven-volume series ‘East African Mammals: An Atlas of Evolution in Africa,’ has been hailed as one of the top scientific publications of the 20th century. And what is remarkable is that he writes and also illustrates all these books.”

The N.C. Zoo and its non-profit support organization, the N.C. Zoological Society, will host ceremonies at the zoo at 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, Oct. 1, to officially dedicate the “Bear and Shaman,” a major two-piece sculpture created by Kingdon and installed near the zoo’s Grizzly Bear Exhibit last year. The sculpture was donated to the Zoo Society by Dr. Stephen Wainwright of Durham.

An exhibition of some of Kingdon’s artworks will also be on display at the Randolph Arts Guild at 123 Sunset Avenue from Sept. 26 through Oct. 3. A reception for the artist will be held at the Arts Guild from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 1. Kingdon will follow that appearance with a lecture, “Aardvark to Zebra: A Lifelong Journey” at 7 p.m., Wednesday Oct. 2, at Asheboro’s newly renovated Sunset Theater located at 234 Sunset Avenue. All three Kingdon events--the sculpture dedication, the art exhibit and the lecture--will be free and open to the public.

Following his Asheboro appearances, Kingdon will be presenting lectures on his new works at the Smithsonian Institute in Washingon, D.C. and at both Princeton and Yale Universities.  

Fo more information on the Asheboro events, visit the zoo’s website at , the zoo society’s website at, or call 1-800-488-0444. The zoo is an agency of the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, John E. Skvarla, III, Secretary; Pat McCrory, Governor.