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Carol Perkins, Conservationist And Humanitarian, Dies At 95

(Courtesy Saint Louis Zoo)

Updated 5:52 p.m.

Carol Perkins, a conservationist and humanitarian and the widow of famed zoologist Marlin Perkins, has died.

The Saint Louis Zoo says Carol Perkins died Saturday at her home in Clayton, Mo. She was 95 and had been in declining health.

Marlin Perkins was the director of the Saint Louis Zoo who gained international fame after becoming host of television's "Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom" in 1962. The program aired for 26 years until his death in 1986.

Carol Perkins often accompanied her husband on safaris and other trips. In his autobiography, Marlin Perkins wrote, “It was always much more fun when she went along."

The couple worked with Washington University to develop what is now known as the Endangered Wolf Center in St. Louis County.

St. Louis Zoo director emeritus Charlier Hoessel says Carol Perkins continued the work after her husband's death.

"After Marlin was gone, Carol was the flagbearer, she carried it on," Hoessel said. "She did a lot of fundraising and got a lot of her friends involved as donors and sponsors for the Wolf Sanctuary, so she became quite a prominent conservationist on her own."

A private funeral is this weekend. The zoo says a public memorial will be next year in Carthage, Mo.

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