School Shows Across the Midwest

Tetzlaffs' Harmony Act

Lion, Chimp, on Elephant

Tetzlaffs Harmony Acts

After helping the war effort milking venomous snakes and working in the fire crew at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Larry returned to Michigan. His animal work temporarily on hold, Tetzlaff sold vacuum cleaners and worked at Muir’s Drugstore in Kalamazoo and was later transferred to their store in Lorain, Ohio.

Larry lived in Vermilion during this time and began rebuilding his animal collection. Larry had a small display at Kiddieland on the outskirts of Huron Ohio in the mid-1950s and later at Crystal Beach Park in Vermillion.

The limited space he was often afforded prompted him to train "harmony" acts. By creating trust between each animal and himself, he was able to introduce seemingly impossible combinations of animals. In the early days, a baboon could be seen riding a hunting dog. Later, it was a vervet monkey and a lioness. The ultimate achievement resulted in a lion and chimpanzee riding an African elephant bareback.

During the winters from this time until he relocated his animals to Florida in 1969, he filled the winter months with a variety of themed educational presentations with his animals. During the week, he captured the imagination of students in assemblies. On weekends, civic groups and other organizations witnessed his films and live animals.After his 1957 marriage to Nancy, they toured together as Jungle Larry and Safari Jane.

It has been humorously noted that even typically truant students were often seen to show up when schools brought in Jungle Larry and Safari Jane. Viewing the Tetzlaffs' films and animals in person and on TV was an exotic experience for many Midwesterners in this era before National Geographic specials were on television.

Jungle Larry Safari Jane School Shows


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