Early Parks in Ohio

Cougar with Jungle Larry and Safari Jane

The Tetzlaffs with their dog and the cougar
that introduced them.

As the Tetzlaffs' menagerie of animals grew, so did the size of theme parks they worked in as well as the crowds they entertained and educated. Following the smaller venues of Huron and Vermilion, Larry opened up his "Jungle Circus" at Puritas Springs Park.

Larry and Nancy met there in 1957. A cougar of Larry's showed a great interest in Nancy and soon Larry did, too. They were married the same year.

During the summers of 1957 and 1958, Jungle Circus offered park visitors a close up experience with species from around the world on the west side of Cleveland.

Visitors watched as Larry milked rattlesnakes and educated guests about crocodiles, monkeys, lizards, vultures, lions, and other wonders of the animal kingdom.

With gentle encouragement from Jungle Larry, thousands of guest overcame their fear of snakes by meeting their two pythons, famously named "Rock" and "Roll."

Weekly trips to Cleveland's Channel 5 F station for the popular Captain Penny Show and school shows throughout the Midwest introduced many to Puritas Springs Park and the world of rare animals.

The couple moved the animals to Chippewa Lake Park from 1959 to 1964. A converted rollerskating rink became the summer home for their animals. The Tetzlaffs worked very closely with their animals from giant lizards and alligators to tigers. Afte Chippewa Lake Park, the Tetzlaffs moved to Cedar Point where Jungle Larry's Safari was to spend 30 summers until 1994.

Jungle Larry and Safari Jane at Ohio Parks


©Jungle Larry's Ssafari Land, Inc