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29yrswithaGApass

Mixing Animals in the Safari

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When most of us think of the Safari park, we think of animals separated into well defined areas where the hunter and hunted never mix. Below is one of my favorite excerpts from an article printed years ago in New York Restaurants Magazine.

 

In the seventies, LeRoy designed and co-owned the Great Adventure theme park in New Jersey, with its menagerie of lions and tigers and bears right off the Garden State Parkway. He was convinced the animals ought to be able to mingle as they did in a real jungle. "I had this idea that if you gave the animals enough space, they'd learn to love each other," LeRoy says. "It didn't work that way. For the lions and tigers and cheetahs, it was all about food, and when we mixed them with the antelope and deer -- oh, my God. Well, we had to immediately stop it. But we were able to mix the antelopes and deer and rhinos.

 

Oops!! :SLURP:

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I'd imagine it might work...it would be one of those things where the animals would have to be raised together. Like when you have a puppy and a kitten and they get along because they were raised together.

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Guest warnerleroy

Yet, another thing Disney can do, Six Flags can't!! Not that Six Flags is less quality, but it's becoming a domino effect? First theming, now animals.

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Yet, another thing Disney can do, Six Flags can't!! Not that Six Flags is less quality, but it's becoming a domino effect? First theming, now animals.

You're comparing apples and oranges when putting Disney side-by-side with Six Flags.

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Guest warnerleroy

Your right..........................

Disney= above a billion dollar budget

Six Flags=just above a million dollar budget

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Guest warnerleroy

I think the Safari should give it a second chance due to the fact that it's becoming a zoo witht the caged in monkeys and tigers.

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This questions is for our Safari Park employees from the early 70s.... as per the quote at the start of this topic, do you recall the park attempting to mix animals in the very beginning?

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This questions is for our Safari Park employees from the early 70s.... as per the quote at the start of this topic, do you recall the park attempting to mix animals in the very beginning?

 

 

Predators were always in their own sections, species by species. The African Lions had two sections, the Bengal Tigers had theirs, the Brown Bears, Black Bears, Siberian Tigers and for a while the Leopards. It was too dangerous to have the leopards loose in the sections because they do not like to stay in groups so it was difficult for their Warden to keep up with them. They were kept in a fenced in area on one side of the road where people could actually see them. They blended into the brush and it was hard to keep track of them. Rick Wallace was the first Lion Warden in that section. I would like to ID the orginal Lions as I remember them. Lion 1, Butch Dring, Lion 2 Charlie Hull, Lion 3 and Lion 4 were in the American Section, they were John Law and John King, Lion 5 elephant/rhino/ostrich, me Gary Hill, Lions 6 and 7 , I forget who, Lion 8 was the first African Lion section, Lion 9 Brown Bears John Brunner, Lion 10, Jake Collaur(spelling) was Supervisior over the predator sections. Lion 11, Rick Wallace, I believe? Lions 12, Black Bears, David Barnes, Lion 13, Bird section,? Lion 14 Siberian Tigers? Then Lion 15 Eddie Chiles, Sheep and Goats, Camels, and then Lion 16 Baboons,? We also had a roving Warden , "Wolfe" Bob Chandler, affectionly called Lion 0. I can see some of the guys faces but can't recall names? We also had a giraffe girl , Gayle Murrey, and in the Happy Feeling Petting Zoo, Ken Moog. In the office we had his girlfriend Patty. I know I left some of the guys out, and feel bad, but thats what happens as you get older, forgetfullness! We had some guys with nic names, they were usually gate guards. "Air Raid", "Stampede" and one of the other Lions, named him "Quickdraw" because he was on the radio really fast if anyone asked anykind of question. Fun Times and hope some of those people will get online and see this? Of course Donald Bale worked for me in the Elephant Barn and we had Bob Berry also. Almost forgot Ron Morris, he too was from Texas and worked at World of Animals with me there. That was the park most of the GA animals came from.

Edited by Gary Hill

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You have to remember too that Disney does have their predators separated from the other animals by cleverly disguised barriers that are hard to see.

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Stevie, who was a local N.J. guy, as I remember, worked the Bengal's right? And Leonard, from Canada worked the Siberians. I need to find Leonard and ask him a question if anyone knows his where abouts. Is Butch still living? Does anyone now where Charlie and Debbie are now? Winks was Lion 18 in Sheep and Goats and I was Lion 19 in the Monkey Jungle. I also worked relief in the cat sections. Ken was in charge of the bird section too right? I am trying to remember who headed up the African plains, there were two wardens in that section as I recall. We were the first park to ever attempt to release Leopards into an open concept. Rick stayed in that fenced in area for like 6 weeks , as I recall under the netting, sitting in his truck all day long in the heat of the summer, getting the cats acclimated. It was a job that would have driven anyone else crazy. It was hard enough to work the cat sections in the summer when they would sleep through the heat of the day and bore you to tears and then go crazy when the weather changed, God I loved it when they did that. You couldn't keep up with them. I will never forget the truck in the cat section that had the door that wouldn't close and you strapped it shut w a black bungee strap from the shifter to the door handle. That door just about got me ate up one day by a big male lion.

 

We let the Leopards out for two or three days and pulled the plug, way too dangerous. They would get so flat you couldn't see them in the grass, but the stopping point was when two of them got underneath cars and tried to ride out. One of them got pretty serious burns. Leopards where a whole different deal, so cunning and way smart. They looked at you different. But we were the first and probably the only ones to ever do it, for two or three days anyway.

Edited by Ed Chiles

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Like I mentioned in my intro post I haven't been back to GAdv since the seventies. Back then I remember the animals were able to roam. Has that changed? It sounds like the safari is more like a zoo now where the animals are confined.

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Stevie, who was a local N.J. guy, as I remember, worked the Bengal's right? And Leonard, from Canada worked the Siberians. I need to find Leonard and ask him a question if anyone knows his where abouts. Is Butch still living? Does anyone now where Charlie and Debbie are now? Winks was Lion 18 in Sheep and Goats and I was Lion 19 in the Monkey Jungle. I also worked relief in the cat sections. Ken was in charge of the bird section too right? I am trying to remember who headed up the African plains, there were two wardens in that section as I recall. We were the first park to ever attempt to release Leopards into an open concept. Rick stayed in that fenced in area for like 6 weeks , as I recall under the netting, sitting in his truck all day long in the heat of the summer, getting the cats acclimated. It was a job that would have driven anyone else crazy. It was hard enough to work the cat sections in the summer when they would sleep through the heat of the day and bore you to tears and then go crazy when the weather changed, God I loved it when they did that. You couldn't keep up with them. I will never forget the truck in the cat section that had the door that wouldn't close and you strapped it shut w a black bungee strap from the shifter to the door handle. That door just about got me ate up one day by a big male lion.

 

We let the Leopards out for two or three days and pulled the plug, way too dangerous. They would get so flat you couldn't see them in the grass, but the stopping point was when two of them got underneath cars and tried to ride out. One of them got pretty serious burns. Leopards where a whole different deal, so cunning and way smart. They looked at you different. But we were the first and probably the only ones to ever do it, for two or three days anyway.

 

 

Ed, if you remember, Jake and Leonard were supervisiors over two parts of the predators. Jake had 1st lions, brown bears and leopards and black bears..Leonard had bengals, 2nd lions, and siberians IF memory serves me.. David Barnes was in African Plains I think, he did move over to work with Jake..?? Rick worked with Leonard...Ronnie and David worked with me in elephant barn at first them moved on to predators..Bob Berry worked one section ? Can't remember who had 2nd lions or 1 st lions for that much..I have forgotten so much???And I have pictures of people,,,seems Wolf worked everywhere as Lion Zero remember??

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Ed, if you remember, Jake and Leonard were supervisiors over two parts of the predators. Jake had 1st lions, brown bears and leopards and black bears..Leonard had bengals, 2nd lions, and siberians IF memory serves me.. David Barnes was in African Plains I think, he did move over to work with Jake..?? Rick worked with Leonard...Ronnie and David worked with me in elephant barn at first them moved on to predators..Bob Berry worked one section ? Can't remember who had 2nd lions or 1 st lions for that much..I have forgotten so much???And I have pictures of people,,,seems Wolf worked everywhere as Lion Zero remember??

 

 

Gary, one person you or Ed didn't mention is Tommy Lear. i remember him well but for the life of me i can't remember which section he worked in. maybe you know which.

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Gary, one person you or Ed didn't mention is Tommy Lear. i remember him well but for the life of me i can't remember which section he worked in. maybe you know which.

Tommy Lear worked second lions. Who remembers Quickdraws real name? He was in a predator section also?? John Brunner was in the Black bears I believe or was it Brown, thinkin Brown?? Last part of the second year is when Steve took over second Lions I believe??

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If Great Adv. is really going to close the Safari to "renovate" it,they most definitely SHOULD "mix it up" by having various species together in the same compound.It's been done before at BGT-the giraffes,zebras,ostriches and gazelles had a large open area to roam&coexist,while the lions,tigers,&alligators were kept in seperate compounds.

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Gary, one person you or Ed didn't mention is Tommy Lear. i remember him well but for the life of me i can't remember which section he worked in. maybe you know which.

 

 

Tommy Lear worked lions, don't remember if it was 1rst lion section or second.

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Stevie, who was a local N.J. guy, as I remember, worked the Bengal's right? And Leonard, from Canada worked the Siberians. I need to find Leonard and ask him a question if anyone knows his where abouts. Is Butch still living? Does anyone now where Charlie and Debbie are now? Winks was Lion 18 in Sheep and Goats and I was Lion 19 in the Monkey Jungle. I also worked relief in the cat sections. Ken was in charge of the bird section too right? I am trying to remember who headed up the African plains, there were two wardens in that section as I recall. We were the first park to ever attempt to release Leopards into an open concept. Rick stayed in that fenced in area for like 6 weeks , as I recall under the netting, sitting in his truck all day long in the heat of the summer, getting the cats acclimated. It was a job that would have driven anyone else crazy. It was hard enough to work the cat sections in the summer when they would sleep through the heat of the day and bore you to tears and then go crazy when the weather changed, God I loved it when they did that. You couldn't keep up with them. I will never forget the truck in the cat section that had the door that wouldn't close and you strapped it shut w a black bungee strap from the shifter to the door handle. That door just about got me ate up one day by a big male lion.

 

We let the Leopards out for two or three days and pulled the plug, way too dangerous. They would get so flat you couldn't see them in the grass, but the stopping point was when two of them got underneath cars and tried to ride out. One of them got pretty serious burns. Leopards where a whole different deal, so cunning and way smart. They looked at you different. But we were the first and probably the only ones to ever do it, for two or three days anyway.

 

I know the message above was posted several years ago but I wanted to share the photos below (which I just obtained) because they fit in with the great comments from our veteran safari team members.

 

gallery_2_327_326951.jpg

 

gallery_2_327_146965.jpg

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Another problem we had with the leopards they can climb trees! Hard to put them away at night if they didn't want to come down I remember a few times that somebody had to spend the night babysitting them! I also remember the 1st cubs born. Somewhere I have pictures that I'll try to find.

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I'd love to see your photos!

 

Do you recall how many of the leopards/panthers were at the park?

 

I recall 8 leopards. In the animals by species ,you have a pic of a leopard up a tree . If he doesn't come down you don't go home. Somebody get me a chainsaw. Just kidding

Edited by jdc12192
fixed quote box

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Ricky Wallace was the first Warden to work the Leopards and as Ed said, that experience of them being out didn't work well...so that lasted all of a couple days in the very first days the park opened in July of 74.. from then on they were only displayed in the trap outside of the den. Rick Wallace was one of my room mates back in those days and we all talked about everything that happened everyday. Ed I finally caught up with Butch, he lives in the Carolinas...spoke to him on the phone and actually has a fb page but doesn't get on often.

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