By 1947, George Vierheller had already been director of the Saint Louis Zoo for nearly 20 years and felt at ease with his wards. As you can see, he had a certain laissez-faire approach to monkey business. Here, we find Tommy and Cookie taking issue with who really is who at the zoo, while George takes a cigar break. The zoo's website quotes Vierheller as such: Shortly after I became a zoo man, a friend of mine advised me: "George, don't merely sit in the chair and listen to it squeak." So George became a hands-on boss.
You’ll note that he went ape over gorillas as well.
Even in the last year of his position at the zoo in 1962, Vierheller was still making friends and sharing vices.
A bronze statue of him was commissioned that same year, representing the love he shared with the animals.