|Safari Jane and Jungle Larry (Nancy and Larry) Tetzlaff with Cougar|
Sunday, February 17, 2013
Jungle Larry with Captain Penny. (video clip)
Before Jack Hanna, there was Lawrence "Jungle Larry" Tetzlaff.
He and his wife, Nancy, called "Safari Jane," became household names in Northeast Ohio through frequent appearances on local TV, especially the "Captain Penny" kids show on WEWS Channel 5, from the 1950s to '70s.
He lived a life as big as legend as an animal trainer, expedition leader and conservationist. A Michigan native with a childhood interest in snakes and exotic animals, he attracted the attention of famed animal collector Frank "Bring 'Em Back Alive" Buck -- and a job at the 1939 World's Fair in New York -- with a paper published while he was still in college.
He wrestled alligators as a stand-in for Johnny Weismuller in three "Tarzan" movies and milked venomous snakes to provide serum for soldiers during World War II.
He took exotic animals to small zoos he ran at the old Puritas Springs amusement park on Cleveland's West Side, Chippewa Lake Park in Medina County, and then Cedar Point, where he opened a baby animal farm in 1964 and where his independently operated African Safari ran from 1965 to 1994.Tom Feran, The Plain Dealer
As my final project for the photoshop portion of my Graphics design program we were asked to do a movie poster or TV advertising poster that could be either an existing Feature film or one we made up. Growing up in Cleveland in the early 60's I was a fan of Jungle Larry's appearances on Captain Penny's Show and enjoyed visiting his parks at Chippewa Lake, later at Cedar Point and Naples, Florida.
Jungle Larry seemed like a natural for a movie and there really should be one though not a comedy as I have portrayed here with Neil Patrick Harris and Naomi Watts.
Both Nancy and Larry were fervent conservationists. I'm hoping someone might see this and decide that Jungle Larry and Safari Jane are worthy subjects of a feature film.