Below are just a few of some of the memories that people have shared with the Tetzlaffs. If you'd like to share your memories or photos, we'd be delighted to read and see them.
"When you think of 'Jungle Larry,' you think of a man and his family who literally dedicated their lives to exotic creatures of the earth."
Jack Hanna, Columbus Zoo Director Emeritus
Jack Hanna, Columbus Zoo Director Emeritus
Jungle Larry was a part of many school children's collective lives, educating us about wildlife. I'm among those who have fond memories of his television appearances.
Ted Henry, WEWS TV Anchor, Cleveland, Ohio
I don't expect you to remember me, but I am the person who wrote you several years ago thanking you and "Jungle Larry" for the inspiration. My website has footage of tigers in India, pygmy marmosets from the Amazon, black and white colobus from the Congo, etc. It is really watching you and Jungle Larry as a child that inspired my adventures.
My memories go back to 1970 when Jungle Larry invited us down for a visit from our home in Akron, Ohio. Jungle Larry and my grandfather were good friends. My grandfather shared the same high moral values and loved animals just as Larry & Jane. I was only 10 years old, but have the most wonderful memories of Jungle Larry’s. Although Larry and my grandfather have past, they will never be forgotten. I have visited the park a few times -- once with my wife and once with my daughter. It was so nice to share Jungle Larry's with my family. My fondest memory was seeing the tiglons for the first time. I will never forget that experience. Thank you and god bless.
I am originally from Ohio, and for some reason I was thinking about my "brushes" with greatness. . . a much much earlier memory came flooding into my consciousness: Jungle Larry, live in person, at the Tuscarawas Valley High School Gymnasium. I was in love! He shook my hand (which I didn't wash for a week). Jungle Larry was the first to instill a love and respect for "all creatures great and small." Thank you again.
I was born and raised on the west side of Cleveland. My dad owned (grocery and butcher shops). Jungle Larry used to stop by and pick up large bones for his cats. Larry, of course, was a local celebrity, due to his appearances at both Cedar Point and on the Captain Penny TV show. One day, I happened to be at the grocery store in North Olmsted with my dad when Jungle Larry, who to a young boy, looked like he was eight feet tall, and wearing his safari hat, stopped in. It was a big thrill for me and has always stuck in my mind. We have been coming to Naples, oddly enough, since 1969, and have enjoyed the Naples Zoo (which will always be Jungle Larry's to me) many times, first with our children, and now with our grandchildren. Thank you for your service to the Naples community!
Growing up in Cleveland, my dad for my birthday brought Jungle Larry to our backyard where about 100 kids and adults watched the show he put on. This birthday party was around 1963 or 1964 and was something to this day I have very fond memories of. It's funny when I Facebook with relatives, many always remark that they remember being at the birthday party with Jungle larry. I visited him at Cedar Point probably 30 years later and he still remembered that get together. He was a super guy.
I was so fortunate to experience Cedar Point with you (Safari Jane), David and Tim. Great times and memories. I even helped out a few times too. Best experience ever. Learned alot about the animals and your passion with them. Thanks for two great sons, and a grandson that continues that legacy. Wished I could have met the man that started it all.
I was blessed to have had your family in my life growing up! Especially my lifelong friend Tim, who continues to impress me with his actions and accomplishments.
I would like to tell you a story about my sister and I meeting Jungle Larry. It was in the early 1970s and my family and I were visiting some family friends who lived in the Winton Place in Cleveland, Ohio. As my sister and I were standing outside a large black car pulled up in front. As the door opened it was Jungle Larry getting out and he saw the two of us standing there and said hello. As he stood there talking to us he asked if we wanted to see something special that he had in the car. As we got to the car inside were the little tiglons. Jungle Larry let us pet them and hold them. As we were doing this he told is that we were the two first kids in all of northern Ohio to ever see these to animals. It made us feel special. As he put the tiglons back into their carrier he invited us to come back and visit them at Cedar Point. As the years went on my sister and I would go to Cedar Point and we would go to Jungle Larry's Safari Land and look at the tiglons as they had grown up just like us. Its a memory that has stayed with me my whole life. Thank you, Jungle Larry.
I moved to Naples at age 7 with my family in 1973. I remember many days attending Jungle Larry’s, and always thought it was a fun place to go. I recall there was a vending machine in front that made a plastic injected mold souvenir animals (elephant and tiger I think) while you watched. Jungle Larry and his wife always put on an entertaining show. I recently visited Naples again for business after being away for 30 years and didn’t have time to stop at the Naples Zoo, but driving by brought back so many happy memories.
I want Nancy to know how grateful I am and blessed that I was able to work there! She is my mentor and my role model! Nancy and my mom are the people who made me who I am today! Nancy and Jungle Larry gave me my work ethic and my diversity and I am so thankful for them!! So Nancy I hope you realize how important you are to so many! Thank you and I love you always!!
In 1972-1973 I was asked if I would appear in a TV commercial for
Jungle Larry's. I believe it was for the Naples Chamber of Commerce.
I consider myself one of the few individuals who not only got to see
the tiglons but I was able to hold them when they were small
kittens. They were the most amazing and beautiful animals I had ever
seen. My mother would take us during the summer months to see the animals. Then when my sister and I had children we, of course, took the boys in the summer to see the animals and gardens. The boys are now in there 30s and both were in Naples and had to stop by. It is a very
special place for us to stop in and maybe someday we can add a 4th
generation to see all the had work your family has put into bringing
this to Naples and sharing with so many other families. I sincerely thank you for all the wonderful memories.
I saw Jungle Larry many times at Cedar Point, but my earliest memory of him was one of my family’s outings to Chippewa Lake. On that particular outing, Jungle Larry was explaining to us about lions and how he took care of them. I remember Jungle Larry’s deep voice and his presentation to this day. I think that it was 1961 or 1962, and I was 5 or 6 at the time. Thanks for the great memories!
I grew up In Vermilion, not far from Jungle Larry. My brothers and sisters would catch snakes on our farm and take them to Larry because he would give us big money for them (a nickel or dime!). He was always so nice to us and would show off the animals he collected. We felt like celebrities when we visited Cedar Point back then. He would always recognize us and bring us into the back area…that impressed our friends!
One of the greatest memories I have is becoming employed (my first job), at Jungle Larry's at the age of 16. I never had the pleasure of meeting Mr Tetzlaff, but had the honor of working with Mrs. Nancy Tetzlaff (Safari Jane), her sons, and the rest of the zoo family. I am always proud to say I worked with this family. Imagine, not only working with this family, but to work in such beautiful surroundings. I was such a lucky person to work summers and Winter breaks in a loving environment. A million thanks is not enough.
As a kid growing up in the sixties/seventies it was always cool and interesting to see Jungle Larry on TV sharing about the animals or to visit the exhibit at Cedar Point. Then say WOW, Jungle Larry, I know him from TV. My earliest memories were seeing him on Captain Penny. There are many titles and accolades that could be given to Larry Tetzlaff. I hope you don't mind my placing this title on him: a man sent from God. He was just the right man, with just the right temperament, skills, abilities and vision to make the animal kingdom come truly alive for literally millions of people.
I have very fond memories of seeing Jungle Larry at Chippewa Lake when I was a child. You see, my father worked for Larry as a teenager at Muir’s Drug Store in Lorain, Ohio. We often heard the story of how Larry had my dad feed his snakes, which he kept in the back of the store. My father was absolutely petrified of snakes! Every year we made the trek to Chippewa Lake Park and my father would take us to see Larry, who would, without fail, placed a large snake around my fathers shoulders and say “You see kids, your father isn’t afraid of snakes.” We were absolutely thrilled to see that rock of a father shake in his shoes and try to smile! Thanks for all the fond memories and God bless all.
I'm sorry I never had the opportunity to meet Larry, but, I'm honored to know you and both your wonderful sons, especially Tim, who's doing an amazing job of furthering the mission of the zoo and gardens. You've all worked together to build an incredible legacy of conservancy, education and love of all things natural. Thank you!
Love you (Nancy) and respect you more than I can ever show. You are one remarkable employer, mentor and friend. Will never forget what a zoo mom you were, and how you provided for everything under your care. LOVE you, Safari Jane.
When I was a kid, I visited Jungle Larry's exhibit at Cedar Point. I sat on the wall of the alligator pit while Jungle Larry was performing the show. My legs were hanging over the edge of the wall, so he said "Young lady, don't sit there. The life you save may be your own." We all loved watching them on TV and it was such a great thing to see them in person at Cedar Point.
Your dedication to what you love allowed me to live a life of adventures everyday!
I grew up living in a house owned by the Goodings, the owners of Puritas Springs Park. That Park was my playground and Jungle Larry and Safari Jane were my heroes. I was in their exhibit everyday! He would place pythons and boas around my neck to show they were not slimy or even aggressive.
(Jungle Larry and Safari Jane) crafted my view on the world. I can’t express enough the their impact and even more your efforts in conservation. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
You and your family have touched and educated so many lives and we are all very thankful for it. Bless you all.