“watch out for the animals!”
Jungle Habitat, located in West Milford, New Jersey, was a Warner Brothers-owned theme park that opened in the summer of 1972, and closed in October 1976. By November 1972, the park had 500,000 paid visitors. The park contained well over 1,500 animals, a drive-through section and a walk-through section. The park featured a drive-through safari section, which allowed for wild animals to roam free and approach vehicles as they slowly drove through. Riders potentially could observe peacocks, baboons, camels, elephants, llamas, giraffes, and Siberian tigers in this section, either in their own cars or on board one of the available buses. Many of the animals would climb atop the cars, bringing them to a halt, and signs were posted along the route to warn visitors to keep their windows closed. Great Adventure in Jackson Township, New Jersey, approximately 100 miles (160 km) to the south, also had (and still has) a similar type of drive-through safari attraction. The walk-through section was a small theme park which included a petting zoo, camel and elephant rides, snack bars, gift shop, reptile house, dolphin show, Bugs Bunny and Friends shows including live Warner Bros. Looney Tunes characters, and a small train station and ride-on train called Jungle Junction. The park did not have any amusement park rides, although there were plans to add them in the future. The park opened as usual during the summer of 1976, with rumors of a big expansion planned for the following summer. The park's last weekend in operation was Halloween weekend. On November 2, township residents narrowly voted against the expansion. Following the vote, Warner Bros. decided to shut the park down and sell the land. After the park closed, newspapers reported that several animal carcasses, including an elephant, had been left there to decay. For years after it closed, the site's deteriorated buildings remained, and rumors of animals still roaming the property attracted curiosity seekers. Accounts of such explorations were published in Weird NJ magazine, and on its website.
The area is now a park with hiking trails. didn't find anything super interesting except a few signs for where the Animals where kept.
Was there on opening day and there the last week of operation. Our family had the season pass every year. We would go just to see the bands. It was really tough terrain for the animals. Bandaged legs and scrapes. Lions on a car, rhino chasing a yak and almost took out a bug, elephant and camel rides. Find a place to party ;) Tons of memories.
Beautiful up there but be prepared for lots of walking.
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