Robert Muldoon was a British Kenyan gamekeeper and park warden known globally for his knowledge as a wildlife consultant. He spent much of his career employed by Dr. John Parker Hammond, working for him well before Hammond founded International Genetic Technologies and began working on Jurassic Park. Muldoon was employed at Jurassic Park until his death in 1993; he died while hunting escaped animals in the Park.
Robert is an ancient Germanic name, literally translating to “bright fame” and deriving from the proto-Germanic name Hrōþiberhtaz. It was one of the most common given names in Medieval Europe, and has remained one of the most common given names in Western cultures for hundreds of years. The surname Muldoon comes from the Irish Ó Maoldúin, meaning “descendant of the servant of Saint Duin.” In Irish, Saint Duin (an eighth-century monk) is Máel Dúin, hence Muldoon. This surname first appears in the Lebor na hUidre, the oldest surviving Irish manuscript; it dates back to the twelfth century. Thanks to such well-kept ancient records, the genealogy of the Muldoon lineage is very well documented.
Muldoon’s date of birth is not known, but he was described as “fortyish” in 1993. This would place his date of birth in approximately 1953. He was from a British family, but was living in Kenya in his young adulthood. Most likely, Muldoon was born and raised in Kenya by a family that had immigrated there during the British Kenyan colonial period. He was born around the time of the Mau Mau revolution, which established Kenya as an independent nation and no longer subject to British rule. Kenya achieved independence from the British Empire in 1963.
According to Vol. 1, Issue 2 of the Jurassic News magazine released by Universal Studios, Muldoon’s childhood home in Kenya was near wild undeveloped land where large megafauna would roam. Elephants and endangered rhinoceroses were commonly seen on the land behind the house, and he grew quite comfortable around these huge creatures.
At a young age Muldoon learned how to hunt. By the time he was a grown man, he had hunted virtually every game animal on the African continent, including many that were considered dangerous. Muldoon grew to understand how animals think and act. Big game hunters began to employ him for his tracking skills, but this was more of a means to make a living than a passion for Muldoon, who was concerned with the conservation of African wildlife.
In 1969, Muldoon got his first real long-term job: park warden at Animal Kingdom, a wildlife park in Nairobi owned by the Scottish entrepreneur John Parker Hammond. He would have been roughly sixteen at the time. It was here that he first applied his skills not as a huntsman, but as a gamekeeper, protecting and preserving wildlife for visitors to enjoy. Zoos in the early 1970s were still a rather clumsy affair, and Muldoon would have been responsible not only for keeping the animals safe and healthy, but keeping visitors safe as well.
Animal Kingdom operated for at least six years. After this, Muldoon began working mostly with conservation groups from 1980 onward. In 1981, he was hired for a two-year assignment in southern Kashmir, India at a park called Tiger World. When this assignment was up, Hammond contacted him again. Muldoon had been more than an employee to Hammond; he was a trusted friend who Hammond would count on in any situation. This foundation of trust would be instrumental in the next, and greatest, stage of Muldoon’s life.
Park warden at Jurassic Park
John Hammond founded the company International Genetic Technologies, Inc. in 1975 out of San Diego, California in the United States. At that point, Animal Kingdom may still have been running, providing the nascent InGen with a source of income. In 1982, Hammond and his business partner Sir Benjamin Lockwood began research on a highly secretive project which Muldoon eventually became privy to. This was Jurassic Park, a theme park which would exhibit animals brought back from extinction. Hammond and Lockwood’s lead paleogeneticist, Dr. Laura Sorkin, demonstrated in 1985 that ancient DNA dating back many millions of years was still partly viable under the right conditions. A year later, InGen hired Dr. Henry Wu, a brilliant genetic biologist who pioneered genetic engineering techniques to speed up the de-extinction process. That year, the first living animal from the Mesozoic era was cloned. Triceratops horridus was hatched, walking the earth for the first time in over sixty-five million years.
There was no one Hammond would have trusted more than Muldoon to act as park warden at Jurassic Park, and he was hired on for the job. At the time, operations were chiefly restricted to Site B, a facility on the Costa Rican island of Isla Sorna located in the Muertes Archipelago. Jurassic Park itself was being constructed in San Diego, but with the success of ancient DNA extraction, Hammond cancelled this plan and relocated the Park: now it was to be built on another Costa Rican island, Isla Nublar, located about eighty-seven miles from Site B. The first animals were introduced there in 1988 after three years of construction. Muldoon was almost certainly involved with the planning and assembly of Jurassic Park’s animal paddock areas, which were equipped with state-of-the-art security technologies all managed by a central computer system. Engineering was managed by Ray Arnold; the chief programmer was Dennis Nedry. Muldoon worked with both of them to learn the ins and outs of Jurassic Park’s security, but some of the more technical details of hardware and software were beyond him. Instead, Muldoon’s area of expertise was the living, breathing side of the Park and the tools he had at hand to keep them under control.
Muldoon, now in his thirties, bore witness to the resurrection of numerous species once thought gone forever thanks to Dr. Wu: while it began with the Triceratops, the roster soon grew to include others such as Brachiosaurus, Tyrannosaurus, and Parasaurolophus. When specimens were deemed suitable for Park exhibition, it would be Muldoon’s job to transport them from Isla Sorna to Isla Nublar. Some of these, particularly the carnivorous theropods, concerned Muldoon; he had hunted countless animals including dangerous predators, but these were unlike any creature humans were familiar with. They had imperfect analogues in the modern-day animal world, but there would always be an element of the unknown at Jurassic Park. This was worsened by the fact that the de-extinction process involved genetic alterations made to the creatures; not only were they inherently unique, their biology was modified, making them harder yet to predict.
Fortunately, Dr. Wu had devised a few ways to manage the animals and make Muldoon’s job easier. He strictly controlled their embryonic development; all animals destined for the Park were female, with only limited numbers of males produced for Site B. No breeding in the wild was thought possible, so the number of animals would be concretely known. Wu also installed a modification which made the animals dependent on supplements of dietary lysine given out by InGen; this ensured that if any animals escaped their enclosures and could not be found, they would become comatose and die in fairly short order. Muldoon appreciated these safety measures and was fully supportive of them, since with these in place all he had to worry about was keeping the animals satisfied. In this respect, he worked closely with InGen’s lead veterinarian, Dr. Gerry Harding. Between the two of them, the animals’ health and wellness was attended to, keeping their behavior manageable.
Certain species were especially troublesome. The unpredictable results of Dr. Wu’s genetic engineering methods meant that the animals often exhibited biological characteristics no fossil could have ever warned them about, such as the fatally venomous secretions of the Dilophosaurus. The worst offender, though, was Velociraptor. Wu yielded an animal that was twice as large as those known from fossils, bigger than a human and stronger too, capable of running at fearsome speeds and leaping to clear most obstacles. Not only this, they were enhanced with problem-solving intellect that worried Muldoon greatly. When Dr. Wu’s raptor specimens were only eight weeks old, Muldoon estimated that they had the strength and intelligence to kill a human. On February 13, 1992, he and Wu cooperated to observe the raptors’ behavior, gaining the first insights into how their minds worked: they were capable on their own, but together a pack was greater than the sum of its parts. They could study their environments, coordinate their efforts to solve puzzles, and overcome nearly anything blocking their way.
To keep Jurassic Park safe, Muldoon needed to be one step ahead of the raptors, and unfortunately no one else took their security quite as seriously as he. Muldoon made it his personal mission to predict the raptors’ every move, studying them intently. The rest of Jurassic Park’s staff, including Hammond himself, considered him paranoid and alarmist, but respected his expertise. By 1993, no one alive knew more about InGen’s raptors than Robert Muldoon.
Sometime in 1993, an eighth addition to Isla Nublar’s raptor pride was shipped in from Isla Sorna. Soon after she was introduced, the raptors’ social structure experienced a dramatic upheaval. The new raptor attacked the others one by one, usurping their authority and killing any challengers to her power. By the time the bloodbath had ended, only three raptors were left alive: the newcomer, which Muldoon nicknamed The Big One for her domineering behavior, and two others that had wisely chosen to defer to her newly-established authority. Peace did not come to the raptor paddock simply because the slaughter was over. The Big One had her subordinates attack the electrified fences at feeding time, trying to break through and attack InGen workers. Muldoon noticed that the raptors never attacked quite the same place twice, and came to an alarming conclusion: they were probing the fences for weaknesses, testing them systematically.
This was a major enough threat to Park security to convince InGen’s leaders to listen to Muldoon. A holding pen was constructed to contain the problematic animals, and Hammond ordered replacements shipped in from Isla Sorna. These would be held at the southern quarantine pens until the Park was ready for them. In the meantime, the Velociraptor enclosure was repurposed; it would hold the less intelligent Herrerasaurus, which were currently being contained in a pen near the Bone Shaker rollercoaster construction site. Once the holding pen was ready, Muldoon’s security staff tranquilized the three raptors and prepared them for transport.
Disaster struck in early June when the raptors were introduced to the pen. They had woken by the time they arrived, and behaved aggressively toward the handlers. Their transport cage was rolled into place, aligned with the main gate of the pen as to ensure they could go nowhere but inside. On top of the cage, the assigned gatekeeper Jophery Brown was in place, raising the gate to allow the raptors into the pen. Instead of running into the pen, however, the raptors rammed the rear of the cage, causing it to roll away from the gate and causing Brown to slip and fall. The cage was stopped before it could roll far, but one of the raptors grabbed Brown by the legs and dragged him into the cage. Muldoon tried to save Brown and urged the handlers to shoot the attacking raptor, but none of the animals were killed despite shots being fired, and Brown was mauled to death.
Muldoon took this incident to heart. Brown had died on his watch, in spite of his best efforts to save the man’s life. The raptors were safely contained, and would be fed only by crane; no longer would workers directly interact with them. Muldoon kept a close watch on the pen for even the slightest sign of weaknesses; from inside, The Big One watched him just as studiously. The Board insisted on halting development of Jurassic Park until a safety inspection could be made. Board members personally reviewed the island not long after Brown’s death, and Muldoon attempted to bring up his security concerns with them. He believed that the raptor and herrerasaur holding pens were too close to Park facilities, and that in the event of an escape the employees might be attacked. As for the raptors in particular, Muldoon believed that they served no further purpose to the Park and should not be left alive. While his concerns were heard, the Board dismissed them as overblown.
Plans were made within InGen to bring in a team of outside experts to review the Park and, if it were found to be safe, give their endorsement. First on the team was a lawyer, Donald Gennaro, followed by mathematician Dr. Ian Malcolm. Hammond’s addition to the group was paleontologist Dr. Alan Grant, who specialized in raptors. By chance, Dr. Grant’s colleague and romantic partner Dr. Ellie Sattler was added to the group by Hammond and joined the others. The group was rounded out by Hammond’s grandchildren, Lex and Tim Murphy, who would come to the island to avoid their parents’ divorce. In spite of the sudden influx of outsiders on Isla Nublar, Hammond insisted on running the Park on a skeleton crew for the weekend to showcase its advanced automated systems. On June 11, nonessential staff would depart the island on the last boat out of the East Dock in the evening. This would leave Muldoon with only Arnold, Nedry, and Hammond to support him while he tried to keep the endorsement tour safe.
1993 incident and death
June 11, 1993 began with routine Park operations like any other day. Preparations for the endorsement tour were already complete, but since most of the staff would be leaving for the weekend at 7:00 local time, few special accommodations would need to be made. Muldoon met the members of the endorsement group late in the morning at the raptor pen, since Dr. Grant had insisted upon seeing the adult animals after encountering a hatchling in the Visitors’ Centre nursery. Muldoon relayed his belief that the raptors should be euthanized; he and Grant engaged in a spirited discussion about the animals’ abilities as the raptors were fed a live bull. Grant had studied fossils of these dinosaurs, so he was more keen to listen to Muldoon’s description than the others; after hearing Muldoon’s testimony about the raptors’ athleticism and intelligence, Grant became more skeptical about the Park. Similarly, Dr. Sattler began to question whether InGen was truly prepared to handle what its geneticists had created. Muldoon did not attend the guest dinner with the tour group members, instead heading into the field in a Jeep Wrangler to tranquilize a sick Triceratops for Dr. Harding to tend to.
After aiding Dr. Harding, Muldoon returned to the Visitors’ Centre to observe the tour with the other staff. The program had been started, although Muldoon had been contacted by the National Weather Service and warned of a tropical storm approaching from the southwest. The tour was disembarked in the hopes that the storm would pass to the south of the island like the previous one. No dinosaurs made major appearances during the early part of the tour, but no incidents occurred either. Muldoon was especially tense as the tour moved past the tyrannosaur paddock; however, even though Arnold presented the tyrannosaur with a tethered goat to lure it out, the animal remained deeper in the woods. While this was a disappointment for the tour, it came as a relief to Muldoon; this was one potential crisis that had not come to pass.
The tour took an unexpected turn at the Triceratops paddock where Muldoon had been shortly before. As the tour vehicles passed through, Dr. Grant suddenly disembarked, followed by all the others; Muldoon lamented that they had not installed locking doors in the vehicles as he insisted. The tourists had spotted the animal Muldoon tranquilized earlier and were now interacting with it; fortunately, it was still sedated, making it safe to be around. Furthermore, Dr. Harding was with them. While the tour was stalled, Muldoon learned that the tropical storm had not dissipated or changed course, forcing the tour to be recalled. Arnold rerouted it to return along its original path. Hammond was displeased, but Muldoon at least would not have to worry about the tour group being out in the Park during a major storm. Nedry left the control room for the vending machines, advising the others that the systems might turn on and off while the computers were compiling.
Dr. Sattler was returned to the Visitors’ Centre by Dr. Harding before the latter headed for the East Dock, hoping to make it there before the boat departed. An early departure was scheduled due to the rough weather. The rest of the tour group was on its way back in the electric vehicles, but as Nedry had warned, several computer systems shut off during this process. These included the surveillance cameras, phones, electric fences, and the tour program; the vehicles stalled at the tyrannosaur paddock’s rest stop. Muldoon’s immediate concern was the raptor pen, which Arnold confirmed was still functional; the raptors were contained. However, communication with the vehicles was impossible, and with the fences down they were in great danger.
With the systems not rebooting, the staff members searched for Nedry, but he was nowhere to be found. Hammond began to suspect sabotage; Nedry had become disgruntled and may have used his position to steal InGen trade secrets. Until he could be found and the damage undone, the safety of Hammond’s grandchildren and the other tour members was paramount. Hammond entrusted Muldoon with recovering them safely using one of the gas-powered Jeeps, and Dr. Sattler volunteered to help. Using Jeep 10, they departed the Visitors’ Centre and headed east into the paddocks as the storm finished passing over the island.
At the last site the vehicles had been confirmed, Muldoon and Sattler discovered a horrifying sight: the tyrannosaur paddock’s fence was damaged, all signs pointing to it having been pushed down from inside. One of the tour cars was missing, and the restroom at the stop had been destroyed. While searching through the debris, Muldoon made a nauseating discovery; part of Gennaro’s body lay among the restroom’s remains. Sattler found another part of Gennaro some distance away. The man had not merely been killed, he had been thrashed apart. Noise drew their attention and they found a survivor, Dr. Malcolm, who was wounded but had used his belt as a tourniquet. Together, they helped move Malcolm to the Jeep, but Muldoon was well aware that they were not alone. Roars could be heard in the nearby woods as the tyrannosaur claimed new regions of the island for herself. Sattler checked for other survivors, and by following a trail of wreckage she found what was left of the missing car; it had been pushed over an embankment not far from where the tyrannosaur had broken through the fence. Despite the danger, she and Muldoon ventured down into the paddock to search for survivors. They found none, but discovered three sets of footprints in the mud leading away from the wreck. This confirmed that Grant and the children had at least survived this one ordeal.
They hastily made their way back to the Jeep, and the tyrannosaur became aware of their presence. The great creature emerged from the woods to give chase and Muldoon took the wheel. Speeding down a debris-strewn service road, he managed to outrace the dinosaur until she was too winded to continue pursuit, and Muldoon was able to bring the terrified scientists to safety at the Visitors’ Centre. Sattler treated Malcolm’s wound and administered morphine for his pain.
In the morning of June 12, Arnold attempted to undo the damage Nedry’s sabotage had caused. A virus, disguised as an ordinary computer command, had turned off Nedry’s keystroke logging so they could not see what systems he had targeted. Hammond and Arnold formulated a plan to turn all the power in the Park off and on again. Once the systems were running again, they would be able to use the phones to reach San Diego and request help. This operation had never been attempted before, but at this point the staff was willing to try anything. While the power shut off without issue, it did not immediately turn back on; while it was indeed ready to reboot, the shutdown had tripped the breakers in the maintenance shed. Arnold reluctantly agreed to go and reset them, and Muldoon had Hammond, Malcolm, and Sattler shelter in the Park’s emergency bunker where he kept his guns. If anything went wrong, there was nowhere better to defend themselves.
Arnold did not return. He had been gone far too long for the power to still be out, and the survivors had to face the reality that things had not gone according to plan. Sattler once again volunteered to help, despite Hammond’s protests, and she and Muldoon prepared to cross the visitor compound and reach the shed. They left a two-way radio with Hammond and Malcolm, taking one themselves and setting out.
Muldoon was already wary, knowing that if Arnold had met some untimely fate the danger could still be nearby. He and Sattler quietly and cautiously made their way across the compound, passing the raptor pen on the way. Here, Muldoon realized what had gone wrong. Nedry’s sabotage had carefully left the raptor pen’s power operational, but the shutdown had deactivated everything, including the raptor fences. To make matters worse, the cables surrounding the pen had been chewed and torn apart from the inside. Muldoon’s worst fears had come to pass: the raptors were out, and they were not far away. As he and Sattler moved toward the shed, they discovered fresh tracks in the sand, leading the same way they were now going. Arnold had been followed. Now, Muldoon spotted one of the raptors lurking in the forest straight ahead, nearly on their path to the maintenance shed. He instructed Sattler to run, hoping the raptors would focus on him rather than her. His plan worked, and Sattler safely made it into the shed while the raptor stared Muldoon down.
The dinosaur was not attacking; Muldoon had a clear shot to the head, and the raptor seemed to be giving him an opening. He moved slowly as not to spook his quarry, setting up his Franchi SPAS-12 for the kill as he had done countless times before on the African savanna. Moments before he pulled the trigger, though, he became aware of movement immediately to his left. A second raptor stood by his side, having moved there in total silence without Muldoon even noticing. It was all he could do to admire the animal’s skill. At long last, he had faced down a quarry that was his equal. In a futile gesture, he swung his gun around at the second raptor, but he had already known it was too late; the animal pounced on him, digging in with tooth and claw. Muldoon suffered a brutal, agonizing death as he was torn apart, shock and blood loss finally killing him.
While Muldoon died during the 1993 incident, his actions helped Dr. Sattler survive, and she went on to reset the breakers. She soon reunited with Dr. Grant, who helped her protect the Murphy children from the raptors and finish restoring Jurassic Park’s computer systems to full functionality. This enabled Hammond to hail a helicopter, and along with Dr. Malcolm, they were all evacuated safely. The three raptors perished, one being locked in a freezer by the Murphy children and the other two being preyed upon by the tyrannosaur. It is unknown if Muldoon’s remains were ever recovered from the island, but as this would have been cost-prohibitive, it is more likely that his body stayed on Isla Nublar for good.
Muldoon’s family would sue InGen after the incident to the tune of $12.6 million for wrongful death. This and other settlements came as a devastating blow to InGen, and coupled with the cost of the incident itself, InGen was sent to the brink of Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Years’ worth of payoffs and bribery to cover up the incident ensured that the company lingered there, dangerously close to failing completely. Hammond was fired in late 1996, succeeded by the Chairman of the Board Peter Ludlow; the company’s future continued to hang in the balance for years to come.
The fate of Velociraptor was similarly questioned for decades after Muldoon’s death. He was the first to advocate for the re-extinction of a species on account of its ability to prey on humans; this sentiment would be exaggerated by far more extreme groups such as Extinction Now! in later decades. InGen Security, on the other hand, would continue the study of this intelligent predator when they resumed activity on Isla Nublar in 2002. Tragedies such as Muldoon’s death set up the groundwork for further interest and research, culminating with projects such as I.B.R.I.S. conducted by InGen Security between 2012 and 2016. Today, scientists and animal handlers have a far better understanding of how Velociraptors think and operate, but in some ways the relationship has worsened. InGen Security spent over a decade attempting to study the raptors not to improve their captive lives, but to exploit them. Muldoon’s death, like most aspects of the Jurassic Park incident, was hidden from the general public by InGen, and it seems the company itself has largely forgotten the difficult lesson his demise teaches. Many a dark chapter in company history regarding Velociraptor has been written since Muldoon’s time, and the future remains uncertain.
Hunting and tracking
Muldoon was a hunter since he was a very young man, having been raised in Kenya and taught to track most of the wild animals that could be found there. As an adult he claimed to have hunted most animals that can hunt and kill humans, and he did not mean this as a boast but as a statement of fact. With many of Africa’s most dangerous predators having fallen to his gun, he was a popular guide for big-game hunters, a world-renowned gamekeeper, and an obvious choice for warden at John Hammond’s Jurassic Park.
Although Muldoon was considered an exceptional hunter in his youth, his adulthood saw him mostly managing animals that were meant to be kept alive, not killed. His preservationist views also meant that he probably did not hunt very often, only doing what he needed to support himself and his family before Hammond hired him. Although he had few opportunities to practice, he seems to have done what he could to keep his skills sharp during his adult life. Nonetheless, he considered Velociraptor an opponent too dangerous to chance an encounter with and instead advocated for the species to be put down en masse. It was this dinosaur that ultimately bested Muldoon at the hunt; while his attention was focused on one animal, a second quietly maneuvered around him and ambushed from the side. Muldoon, in his final moments, showed genuine admiration for the creature that had at long last defeated him.
In line with his background in hunting, Muldoon was highly proficient with firearms of all kinds. His armory in the Jurassic Park emergency bunker was stocked with weapons such as M16 rifles, Franchi SPAS-12, and M1911 pistols; the latter two appear to be his guns of choice. As Hammond’s park warden, he would have also been handy with a tranquilizer rifle, and was trusted by Jurassic Park’s staff members to be able to hit and down even large dinosaurs using tranquilizers.
Muldoon was quite a good driver, even under extreme duress. While employed on Isla Nublar, he would use the Park’s standard 1992 Jeep Wranglers to get around. During the 1993 incident, Muldoon notably raced against a Tyrannosaurus rex, evading and escaping the predator in a Wrangler. Having grown up in the pre-automatic-gear age, Muldoon was highly proficient with manual transmission vehicles.
Skill with animals
Since his early days, Muldoon regularly encountered wild animals in Kenya, some of which were extremely dangerous. The African continent is one of the last places on Earth where intact ecosystems supporting megafauna still persist, and they were reasonably healthy when Muldoon lived there. He learned the ways of the animals he lived around, how to track and hunt them, and eventually how to preserve them. Being employed at John Hammond’s Animal Kingdom meant that he was entrusted with the safety and security of both the zoo’s inhabitants and visitors; zoos in those days were still new endeavors, affairs nearly as wild as the animals they exhibited. His performance at Animal Kingdom helped elevate him to a higher level of recognition and his skills became widely in demand. During the early 1980s, during which time he began working almost exclusively for conservation groups, he was hired to work a two-year assignment at Tiger World in southern Kashmir; once this was up he was again contacted by Hammond for a new job.
In 1986, Hammond’s company succeeded in recreating the first de-extinct life form, a Triceratops, and Muldoon’s zoo experience grew wilder still. He became the world’s first de-extinct animal handler, tending to species no human being had ever encountered. Since de-extinction was a very new science, the only background knowledge he could bring with him was what he knew of modern birds and reptiles along with paleontological research, but even this was not enough; there were numerous animal welfare issues in Jurassic Park stemming from nothing more than InGen’s lack of knowledge. Muldoon became increasingly concerned with the Park’s security, while the animals’ health was the duty of Park veterinarians instead. For the most part, it appears that Muldoon succeeded at keeping the animals contained, but many of his security concerns were ignored by InGen. During the 1993 incident, all of the issues he had tried to bring up became devastatingly important as the security systems were deactivated. Muldoon attempted to keep the situation under control, but did not survive. He was out-maneuvered by two of the Velociraptors, animals he had developed a kind of rivalry with, and killed. Underestimating their abilities was his final, fatal mistake.
In order to stay one step ahead of his quarry Muldoon needed to be in top shape. He was a very athletic man, well-versed in strenuous outdoor activity. On top of being strong, he could be stealthy, enabling him to sneak up on his target undetected. The only creature ever known to best him was the genetically-engineered Velociraptor antirrhopus, where Muldoon finally met his match in terms of both strength and strategy.
Muldoon was a preservationist, despite his background in big-game hunting. He appears to have only hunted what was necessary to support himself and his family. When he got an offer to become the game warden at Animal Kingdom in Nairobi, Muldoon seems to have given up big game hunting as a profession, though he kept his skills up to practice. From his teenage years onward, Muldoon worked to preserve wildlife in zoos rather than track and kill them. He worked with environmentalist groups from 1980 onward, such as Tiger World in Kashmir.
His views on nature were complicated, rooted in the status of humans in the food chain. He certainly enjoyed being at the top, but acknowledged that when it came down to pure predatory ability humans had strong contenders. During his time in Kenya, he had hunted virtually every dangerous animal and come out the victor, but did not for a moment believe that victory was owed to him. He understood that encountering an animal in the wild could be deadly, appreciating this threat and remaining on alert around animals of any sort.
When it came to animals that could really threaten a human life, Muldoon was not beyond advocating for their extermination. No modern animals fit his criteria, but there were genetically engineered species that he considered too dangerous to leave alive. The fact that they were not a part of the natural order may have factored into his decision; humans had evolved to live alongside animals that occurred in nature, but not those that were brought to life through scientific intervention. Muldoon’s belief that the Velociraptors at Jurassic Park should all be euthanized is the primary example here. He feared their intelligence would make them impossible to contain, especially with the raptors’ ringleader showing unusual amounts of aggression, and became entrenched in the idea of euthanizing the raptors after they mauled and killed an InGen employee on his watch. Muldoon supported the lysine contingency, a policy which would have killed off escaped animals had it succeeded.
Of all the original Jurassic Park staff, Muldoon seems to have been the least convinced of the Park’s ability to succeed and seems to have mostly been there to mitigate any potential disasters. He did not make any specific commentary about the morality of de-extinction or cloning, nor the morality of genetic modification, but showed high levels of skepticism and wariness regarding Park safety. The highly intelligent Velociraptor, as discussed above, was Muldoon’s greatest concern; Hammond dismissed his warnings as unnecessary alarmism. Muldoon believed that the raptors’ complex ability to understand its environment and strategize with others of its kind made it impossible to keep in captivity, an issue that InGen would struggle with for many years to come. With the raptors being an artificial creation, they were a disruption to the natural order that could pose a major threat to people they encountered; after an incident in which they killed a worker, Muldoon advocated that they all be put down.
Other theropods were also of concern to Muldoon. He discussed hazards posed by the placement of certain holding pens and exhibits, particularly those of the Herrerasaurus and Tyrannosaurus, wanting to keep them far enough away from human areas of the Park that an escape would not be as immediate a danger. His commentary on the herbivorous animals was not known, but having grown up in Africa, he would have been familiar with dangerous herbivores such as the elephant, hippopotamus, and rhinoceros; an angry Triceratops would be just as menacing as any of these. None of these other animals seem to have reached the point of existential threat he assigned to Velociraptor, however.
On gender politics
Although his employer John Hammond was notorious for his outdated sexist views, Muldoon did not share these. He welcomed the help of Dr. Ellie Sattler during the 1993 incident, in which she volunteered to assist him in helping the other survivors on a few occasions. Muldoon ignored Hammond’s protests that a man should take care of the job; for most of the incident, Muldoon worked alongside Sattler, Hammond, and Dr. Ian Malcolm, the latter of whom was seriously wounded and unable to go into the field. With Hammond’s advanced age and disability, Dr. Sattler was the most reasonable choice to aid Muldoon in restoring the Park to some semblance of functionality.
It is possible Muldoon had worked with women in the field before; there are generally few female big-game hunters, but there are plenty of female park rangers and wildlife handlers in Kenya and around the world. In any case, Muldoon never expressed any sign of surprise at Dr. Sattler’s physical ability. In Muldoon’s line of work, it is never good to be taken by surprise for any reason, and any kind of assistance in a dangerous situation is always welcome regardless of who provides it.
Not much is known about the Muldoon family other than they are British but lived in Kenya during the Mau Mau revolution era. A hunting family, they supported themselves on the local natural resources, either by killing what they needed for themselves or by aiding wealthy trophy hunters in finding their game. A younger Robert Muldoon learned to hunt most of the local creatures for these purposes. Eventually, the young Muldoon got a job as a park warden at Animal Kingdom working under John Hammond, which would have benefited his family.
When he left to work at Jurassic Park as an adult, his relatives would have known little about what his life entailed, but he probably still gave them some financial support. Muldoon’s death in 1993 was a tragedy to his family, who sued InGen for wrongful death and received a settlement of US $12,600,000. This is notably a much smaller amount than other families who sued InGen after the incident, suggesting the Muldoon family was of lesser means at that time.
Dr. John Parker Alfred Hammond
When he was only a teenager, Robert Muldoon got his first long-term job working at Animal Kingdom, a wildlife park operated by the Scottish entrepreneur Dr. John Hammond beginning in 1969. Over the years Muldoon became a highly trusted employee and friend to the older Hammond, and when the latter began work on a highly secretive zoological project in the 1980s, Muldoon was his first pick to once again be park warden.
This time, the project was Jurassic Park, which had a roster of animal and plant life brought back from extinction through the science of genetic engineering. Muldoon took the job and maintained the secrecy, but commonly expressed doubt that InGen was capable of controlling what it had created. Hammond’s joviality and optimism wore thin on Muldoon, but he managed to keep his cool all throughout; he and Hammond seldom fought despite their differences, and Muldoon remained loyal to Hammond until the very end. Their main disagreement was the Velociraptors: Hammond was determined to make their attraction work, while Muldoon believed that it was impossible to contain these dinosaurs and advocated for their extinction. Hammond considered Muldoon an alarmist, while Muldoon thought Hammond naïve. Muldoon was also frustrated with some of Hammond’s more old-fashioned social beliefs; complacency is never a good trait in a hunter, so tradition for tradition’s own sake was not a value Muldoon espoused.
Although their relationship was strained, Muldoon and Hammond stayed respectful of one another and worked closely together to mend the disasters in Jurassic Park in 1993. Ultimately, Muldoon gave his life to protect Hammond and the others from danger. He risked his life and paid the price, but thanks to his efforts, the power was restored and Hammond was able to safely evacuate off Isla Nublar alive.
Dr. Gerry Harding
Due to the overlap in their professions, one of the InGen employees that Muldoon worked with most frequently was Jurassic Park’s chief veterinarian Dr. Gerry Harding. Whenever a dinosaur needed to be inspected or treated for health reasons, Muldoon would be there to aid Dr. Harding by herding the target animal away from the others and tranquilizing it so Harding could work with it safely. Details of their working relationship are not known, but Dr. Harding appears to have wholeheartedly trusted Muldoon’s expertise and relied on him often.
Dr. Harding was actually on the island at the time of Muldoon’s death, but Muldoon never learned that his colleague had missed the boat off Isla Nublar. Similarly, Dr. Harding did not learn that Muldoon had died until after the incident.
John Raymond “Ray” Arnold
Jurassic Park’s chief engineer Ray Arnold shared Muldoon’s no-nonsense attitude, but was more cynical than skeptical. His relationship with Muldoon is largely unknown, but his constant bickering with chief programmer Dennis Nedry was an annoyance to Muldoon, especially when bigger issues in the Park existed. Nonetheless, Arnold was in charge of much of the Park’s technology, and this included the security devices. Muldoon had to know these inside and out, and so he probably worked with Arnold to learn them.
Arnold and Muldoon cooperated in their efforts to restart the Park’s systems during the 1993 incident. When Arnold did not return from the maintenance shed during an effort to turn the power back on, Muldoon went out to finish the job; neither man would survive the effort.
Dennis T. Nedry
Jurassic Park’s chief programmer Dennis Nedry developed numerous unhealthy work relationships, but Muldoon seems to have had a more ambivalent relationship with him rather than an antagonistic one. Muldoon appreciated that Nedry could keep the Park’s security systems functional, but disliked his argumentative nature and considered it a distraction from issues of greater scope. Nedry also lacked knowledge about the Park’s animals, though Muldoon was sure to instill in all his coworkers a sense of the danger an escaped raptor would pose. When Nedry sabotaged Jurassic Park in order to steal InGen trade secrets, he ensured that the raptor fences remained live.
It is unlikely that Nedry intended for anyone to get hurt due to his sabotage, but the fact remains that his actions indirectly led to Muldoon’s death. Shutting off security systems forced InGen staff to reset the power in order to get the Park running again, and this in turn allowed the raptors to escape.
Other InGen employees
Many of Robert Muldoon’s working relationships are poorly known, since Jurassic Park was never seen in operational status and most of our knowledge of it comes from the 1993 incident. Muldoon would have probably worked with InGen’s senior paleogeneticist, Dr. Laura Sorkin, who worked at the company from 1985 onward; she frequently did field research on Isla Nublar and probably was assisted by Muldoon from time to time. He also knew chief geneticist Dr. Henry Wu, who was responsible for creating the animals; while they were just as new to Wu as anyone else, his knowledge of their genetic biology might have given Muldoon a better ability to predict their behavior. Wu and Muldoon worked together to study the Velociraptors, for example, making the earliest-known study of raptor behavior patterns and intelligence. Prior to the 1990s, he may have known Hammond’s partner in business, Benjamin Lockwood, but this man left the company due to fundamental moral disagreements with Hammond.
Most of Muldoon’s close coworkers would have been animal control officers probably employed in InGen Security, and he would have reported to InGen’s Director of Security on the Board of Directors. One of the animal handlers Muldoon worked with was Jophery Brown, who had a profound impact on Muldoon’s late career due to his death. Brown was killed while transporting problematic Velociraptors, which strategized during transport to ram the cage and attack their handlers. Muldoon personally tried to save Brown’s life, but the raptors proved too strong, and the InGen Security officers did not shoot the raptors as Muldoon demanded. From then on, Muldoon’s resolve to have the raptors exterminated was only strengthened.
The first creature to be brought back from extinction was Triceratops horridus, a species of herbivorous but well-armed Cretaceous dinosaur equipped with three facial horns. While roughly comparable to an elephant or rhinoceros in terms of ecology, it would have been fundamentally unlike anything Muldoon had ever encountered in the wild. He would have needed to learn entirely new methods for managing it, and again when new dinosaurs were added to the roster. The early additions included the huge sauropod Brachiosaurus, the hadrosaur Parasaurolophus, and, in 1988, the famed apex predator Tyrannosaurus rex. Seven of these giant theropods were successfully hatched, but one in particular, the oldest, was destined for Jurassic Park from the very beginning. Once she reached her full size, she was far and away the most formidable animal on Isla Nublar. Muldoon was probably involved with securing animals for transport from Site B. He also would tranquilize the animals for routine veterinary procedures; one of his common targets was a Triceratops with an unidentified chronic illness.
Isla Nublar eventually came to house the flying reptile Pteranodon, which would have presented Muldoon with an entirely unique challenge, as well as small theropods including Gallimimus, Dilophosaurus, and Velociraptor. These last two were some of the Park’s biggest problems, as the dilophosaurs were capable of spitting venom at their handlers and the raptors were alarmingly capable escape artists. Muldoon worked especially hard to contain the raptors, but after a particularly aggressive individual took over the Isla Nublar pride and slaughtered most of the others, the power dynamic shifted. Now the raptors were actively searching for weak points in the fences; for this reason they were relocated to a smaller holding pen in June, during which they mauled and killed Jophery Brown. In the meantime, Hammond had the raptor attraction repurposed for Herrerasaurus. While these dinosaurs were less intelligent, they were still dangerous predators, and Muldoon’s concerns changed very little.
De-extinct plant species, such as a Cretaceous veriforman, were probably less worrisome. It is unclear whether Muldoon was aware of Isla Nublar’s Tylosaurus or the Troodons, and he probably did not know about the invasive Compsognathus since this was unknown to most InGen staff. Other animals were bred on Isla Sorna but had not yet been introduced to the Park; these included Stegosaurus, Pachycephalosaurus, Mamenchisaurus, Baryonyx, Carnotaurus, Edmontosaurus, Microceratus, and possibly others. More species would eventually have been produced had the project continued.
Muldoon’s concerns about the Park’s biological security all sprang to life during the 1993 incident, during which he was menaced on two occasions by the escaped animals. The first escapee he encountered was the tyrannosaur, which pursued him and two Park guests in a Jeep after breaking through the deactivated fencing. On the second day of the incident, Muldoon hunted one of the raptors after learning that they had broken free too; he made a fatal mistake in underestimating the raptors’ social intelligence, and was outmaneuvered. One of the two subordinate raptors mauled Muldoon to death.
Jurassic Park endorsement group
Due to the death of Jophery Brown, InGen’s Board of Directors mandated that a group of outside experts (essentially a dry run of Jurassic Park’s target audience) should visit the Park, tour it, and give it their endorsement if they found it up to their standards. The group included lawyer Donald Gennaro, mathematician Dr. Ian Malcolm, vertebrate paleontologist Dr. Alan Grant, and paleobotanist Dr. Ellie Sattler. Also joining them were Hammond’s grandchildren Lex and Tim Murphy. Muldoon did not meet the Murphy children, as they joined the tour after he had left to work with a dinosaur, but did hear their voices on the tour radio. Muldoon briefly met the adults of the tour at the raptor pen during feeding time, as deinonychosaurs were Dr. Grant’s specialty and he had wanted to see them himself. Muldoon and Grant bonded over the raptors’ impressive abilities, though Grant quickly became apprehensive as Muldoon explained just how crafty and powerful these animals truly were. In Dr. Grant, Muldoon found someone who at last appreciated the danger that these animals could pose if they got out.
During the incident, he worked closely with Dr. Sattler to search for survivors. Her tenacity and strength in the face of danger was greatly useful to him, especially as Hammond was too elderly to engage in action and Dr. Malcolm had become seriously wounded. In fact, it was Muldoon and Sattler’s quick acting that saved Malcolm’s life after he sustained his injury. Muldoon and Sattler went on one final mission together while trying to reset the Park’s power; they discovered that the raptors had escaped, and Muldoon sent Dr. Sattler ahead to the maintenance shed while he hunted the animals in the woods. Muldoon did not survive this endeavor, making Sattler the last person who saw him alive. However, she did make it to the shed and reset the breakers, so Muldoon’s death was not in vain.
Hunters and wildlife handlers
Prior to his employment at Jurassic Park, Muldoon worked for environmentalist organizations at parks like Tiger World in India. He was dedicated to environmentalism and conservation, hunting only as necessary to support himself and his family; he was renowned for his wildlife consultation services. Before 1980, Muldoon also was hired by big-game hunters to track and kill large African animals. Muldoon’s understanding of animal behavior made him highly in demand, but he appears to have found trophy hunting itself distasteful. Working at Animal Kingdom set him on a path away from being a hunting guide, and he eventually left that line of work behind entirely.
Robert Muldoon is portrayed by the late Bob Peck. This character is widely considered Peck’s biggest and most beloved film role. The film character of Muldoon is loosely based on the character of the same name in Michael Crichton‘s novel; in the film, Muldoon is a more serious man, whereas in the novel he is portrayed as a risk-taker and an alcoholic. On the other hand, the novel version of Muldoon survives and returned home, whereas the film version dies on Isla Nublar. The detail of his death was apparently added in the final version of the script.