The Anteaters Club existed from 1940 through the mid 1960s. It was started by the director of the National Zoo (located here), William Mann, and Gordon Leech who had a concession to fine dining at the zoo restaurant (which no longer exists). While dining together one day, Mann half kidding, wondered why buffalo was not on the menu. Leech felt challenged and obtained a side of bison from Oklahoma and invited friends and family to dine. The group decided that it might be nice to meet periodically to further partake in the eating of exotic animals. They christened their club the Anteaters Club because it was the one animal everyone agreed they would not want to eat.
Animals were obtained from various sources (none were taken from zoos unless they had died naturally). Over the years the Club feasted on seal, beaver, turtle, whale, reindeer, elk, eland, wild boar, wild duck, kangaroo, sturgeon, ring-necked pheasant, elephant, Scottish stag, hippo, rattlesnake, alligator, bear, caribou, Canadian geese, iguana, moose, Chukar partridge, and venison to name just a few. Word spread and the Anteaters Club became the toast of the town. Its membership included important politicians, journalists, wealthy businessmen and women, well-known athletes, diplomats, and other distinguished people. The numbers grew into the hundreds. The chef of the restaurant had a special way of preparing the feasts, like cooking elephant in a light wine sauce.