Car Culture and the Fate of the “Urban Manatee”

By | April 30, 2009

Maggie Koerth-Baker is a guest blogger on Boing Boing. A freelance science and health journalist, Maggie lives in Minneapolis, brain dumps on Twitter, and writes quite often for mental_floss magazine.

As we all learned in preschool, Muppets are native to New York City, and once freely roamed (in a floppy, yet oddly stiff-limbed sort of way) the whole of the five boroughs. Sadly, those days have passed. But now, kindly urban planning wonks are hoping that new, livable-streets initiatives can help the good old days return.

In the early part of the 1900s, Zozos – large, furry, innocent, purple creatures – once freely roamed New York City’s streets, and were seen frequently mingling among its denizens and enjoying the public realm. But with the advent of the automobile their numbers slowly dwindled, until the 1930s when sightings became rare and they were thought to go extinct. But now thanks to a burgeoning livable streets movement and a marked improvement in public spaces in NYC, Zozo sightings have been reported. World-renowned crypto-zoologist Donald Druthers has convinced us to document the facts – and yes, it looks like Zozos could be making a comeback! See the evidence for yourself.”

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