In 1935, he was the lone male bunking with four females at the Central Park Zoo.
This was the height of the Depression, but Joe had plenty of zookeeper-delivered fish to munch on.
The problem was, Joe was noisy. He barked a lot, and that riled up the female sea lions, so they barked too.
All this barking disturbed Joe’s rich Fifth Avenue human neighbors.
Zoo officials had to do something. “Wearied by the constant flow of complaints from apartment houses across Fifth Avenue and a little bored themselves at the recurrent barking under their windows, park officials in the Arsenal decided to see if the removal of the master would not have a quieting effect on the four females in the ‘seal’ pool,” wrote The New York Times on December 14, 1935.
It took an entire day, but the baited him with fish, trapped him in a box, and then headed for Brooklyn.
No word on whether he liked his new home at the Prospect Park Zoo, where Joe shared quarters with one female and another “equally big and imperious male.”
[Images are not of Joe but vintage snaps of the sea lion pool at Central Park; bottom from the City of New York Parks & Recreation Department]