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Fondly Recalling Carol Perkins, Widow of Marlin

Posted by: Loren Coleman on October 28th, 2012

October 20, 2012, was the 45th anniversary of the filming of the Patterson-Gimlin Bigfoot footage at Bluff Creek, California. Two “skeptics” died on that date (which was noted here), and now word has come that there’s been the passing of another person with a direct linkage to the pursue of hairy hominoids: Carol Perkins, 95, conservationist, author and widow of famed Marlin.

Marlin Perkins, of course, was a member of Sir Edmund Hillary’s 1960 World Book Expedition that was partially interested in the Yeti question.

As a youngster in Illinois, it was Carol who answered my 1960s’ requests for information about the expedition from her St. Louis home, because Marlin was too busy. She was the connection I directly made to that excursion, early on, more than 25 years before I did the research and interviews later for my book Tom Slick and the Search for Yeti (Faber and Faber, 1989).

It will be remembered that Marlin Perkins served as director at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, Illinois, from 1944 until 1962, before he returned to his former employer, the St. Louis Zoo, as as its director. It was when Perkins was at the Lincoln Park Zoo, and on the television program Zoo Parade when Perkins joined Hillary in Nepal. They were reportedly chasing the Abominable Snowmen with a support crew of 300, which would have scared any unknown hominoid into the next valley.

During World War II, Carol and her then-husband, steel salesman John Cotsworth, became friends with Marlin Perkins and his wife. After Carol and her husband divorced in 1959, she learned that Marlin, long-divorced, had been in love with her for years. They married in 1960 in Chicago, around the time of his famed Yeti expedition.

Marlin Perkins would go to be be best known as a host of the television program Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, from 1963 to 1985, and lived from March 28, 1905 to June 14, 1986.

After Marlin’s death in 1986, Carol would have many productive years, mostly involved with the Endangered Wolf Center in Eureka, Missouri, and the Open Door Animal Sanctuary, a no-kill shelter for dogs and cats in High Ridge. She ended up leading 32 safaris of her own in Africa, two in Australia and three expeditions to India, Nepal and Sikkim.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch published a thorough obituary (here).

For a young man who would grow up to be a cryptozoologist, however, I will recall her always, fondly, for taking the time to share what she could about her husband’s expedition looking for Yetis in Nepal, with a teenage boy from the Midwest.

About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013.


One Response to “Fondly Recalling Carol Perkins, Widow of Marlin”

  1. DWA responds:

    “Wild Kingdom” was one of my favorite shows as a kid.

    Not surprised Marlin’s widow championed similar endeavors. His regard for nature had that effect on people.



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