A portrait of Frank Buck from the Library's Billy Rose Theatre Division.   More information

Jungleland showcased "NATURE'S GREATEST THRILLS" — "Ferocious, Terrifying LORDS OF THE JUNGLE."    More information

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Buck wanted his name emblazoned over Jungleland's entrance in red neon, but was told to use "traffic green."   More information

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The preliminary draft for Jungleland covered everything from square footage needs to exhibit and souvenir kiosk plans.   More information

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The "tentative" list of animals for Jungleland included four leopard subspecies and five species of bears.   More information

Okapi from the Belgian Congo would be a "sensational attraction"; securing export permits for them was another matter.   More information

Buck’s plans to display 14-foot king cobras and pythons more than 20 feet long, raised contractual alarm bells.   More information

Sizable snakes did make the show.    More information

Frank Buck and his elephants lead the procession.   More information

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Buck (left) with Olympic champion Johnny Weissmuller of Tarzan fame, star of Billy Rose's Aquacade.   More information

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Other Jungleland stars included "Barney" the giraffe, "valued at $5,000."   More information

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"Satan," a 7-year-old Sumatra tiger, leaps through a flaming hoop.   More information

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"Jiggs" the orangutan, aka the "Mayor of Jungleland," gives torch singer Gertrude Neisen "pointers on parading."   More information

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"Cheer up there, Jumbo, it isn’t every day you can 'Boompa' with a couple of 'Daisies' like these."    More information

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"Lucky pachyderms" get a cooling off with "bathing beauties" under the Perisphere.   More information

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Frank Buck rides an elephant saddled with one of his "native hunting howdahs."   More information

"Hank" the elephant dons his "daffiest regalia."   More information

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Not all went smoothly. One (intoxicated) man was hospitalized after he "fell from the head of an elephant."   More information

Frank Buck’s monkeys disembark.   More information

Monkey Mountain was reported to be 80 feet tall.    More information

The mountain was built on a "foundation of floating concrete."   More information

An escapee receives "Aquagal petting" in Billy Rose’s Aquacade.   More information

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Despite efforts to save the "furred, feathered, and scaled charges," rare Komodo lizards and many monkeys perished.   More information

"Frank Buck's boy from Malay" holds "Minnie" while Dr. Murphy oversees the x-raying of the Monkey Mountain resident.   More information

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"Minnie" tended to by her handler and nurses.   More information

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Jungleland: They're All Alive!

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Frank "Bring 'Em Back Alive" Buck

The Making of "An Amazing Spectacle"

The "Magnificent Cavalcade"

Capturing Wild Elephants!

The Ups and Downs of Monkey Mountain

"Make a jungle expedition to Frank Buck’s Jungleland," invited Fair leaflets — "a Cavalcade of the World’s Most Ferocious Animals, Dangerous Reptiles, Gorgeous Birds, from — Frank Buck’s Jungle Expeditions."
Buck, a celebrity wild animal hunter who boasted a dozen round-the-world expeditions and scores of overseas trips, promoted an exotic World's Fair jungle camp featuring "1,000 beautiful rare birds ... giant regal pythons ... man-eating tigers," performing elephants, elephant and camel rides, "1,000 Indian Monkeys ... on a 100-ft Monkey Mountain," and more.
Jungleland, said Buck, was "probably the most elaborate and unique setting for a jungle show ever constructed." It was hugely popular, as were similar attractions Buck presented over the years. Still, letters from the public complained of false advertising and the mistreatment of animals, and in particular there were questions around the treatment of the monkeys.
As much of an attraction as Jungleland’s wild animals was the exhibit's audacious presenter, "Bring 'Em Back Alive" Frank Buck — not only a world-famous hunter, but a best-selling author, subject of and actor in films, a Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus star, and zoo director.
"For twenty-five years I have been exploring the jungle countries of the world for wild animals," he wrote, "not for the fun of shooting them, but to capture them and bring them back alive to America. Thus, I have come to be known as the man who 'Brings 'em back alive.'"

Buck's plans show his entrepreneurial and PR savvy. His proposal for an 80,000- to 120,000-square-foot Jungleland included a jungle camp duplicating his expedition camps to show "exactly how Buck lives while trapping wild animals in the jungle." The camps would be built by "Malay boys ... kept here throughout the exhibit as atmosphere, so as to have the real thing in the way of attendants." Other planned attractions included a large monkey island, a seal island, rare animal exhibits, animal shows, and food prepared by "a native Malay cook and served in a most attractive way."
Buck delivered, but not without various disputes with Fair officials over contractual issues. Only Jungleland, Aquacade, and the Parachute Jump made money the Fair's first season.

Jungleland was full of spectacle and celebrity. Its "mammoth wild cargo," reported to consist of 30,000 animals, included giraffes, tigers, snakes, bears, monkeys, exotic birds, and more. Frank Buck showcased his monkeys and, with him perched atop, his elephants, leading parades and celebrations.
Buck was especially proud of his "famous trained orang 'Jiggs' ... the most intelligent and best-trained anthropoid ever exhibited." The five-year-old Jiggs was appointed "Mayor of Jungleland."
Life magazine, in listing Jungleland as one of the Amusement Area's "high spots" with its wild animals and "Malay camp in a jungle," did note one negative aspect of the spectacle: "Defect: animal smells."

"For downright power and savagery, for brutal strength and relentless force, a charging bull elephant is the fiercest of all jungle beasts," said Frank Buck in his Jungleland brochure. "Strangely enough, once tamed and trained, the savage elephant is the most docile of all the jungle creatures."
Buck had a trio of performing elephants as well as examples of the "African pigmy species," and offered rides for a proposed 25 cents. "Everybody wants to ride an elephant," read the draft for Jungleland. "It is planned to have at least four or five good riding elephants continually going during the show at the New York World's Fair." The experience would be riding like "hunters do in the Jungle lands of the Far East." The elephants were a hit with visitors, children, and even the Fair's showgirls.

Monkey Mountain, standing 80 feet tall with hundreds of "chattering simians," was billed as "Thrilling! Laugh-provoking!” in Buck’s leaflets. His rhesus "Indian monkeys" could be seen "returning stare for stare with the spectators gathered outside the fence."

But the monkeys had ups and downs. They repeatedly escaped over the six-foot fence, with the press and public following their colorful escapades. The New York Times reported on monkeys "dragged squealing out of the Fair’s big paper refuse baskets." The following month, others were recaptured after "frolicking along the keys of the huge National Cash Register" Building. Two particularly evasive monkeys would "come out late at night ... and beg sugar and scraps from the waitresses" in Heineken's on the Zuider Zee. Still others wound up in the Aquacade.
From the start of the Fair there were animal welfare concerns ... despite Buck’s assurance that "in my whole career of dealing with wild creatures I have never willfully or unnecessarily harmed or injured a single one. I have made it my business to bring them back alive." The Associated Press reported that half a cargo shipment of animals for Jungleland died during rough seas: "The death toll was highest among the monkeys, a species very susceptible to cold."

This was further borne out the first week of the Fair, during which the Times reported that a hundred monkeys "died of the cold on Monkey Mountain." Said to be the paper's "top colour writer," Meyer Berger noted that "People in the monkey compound at the Frank Buck show keep asking why the gibbons, chimps, and Indian specimens look so sad. 'They get that way,' one attendant tells them, 'from listening to the wailing of Midway concessionaires.'"

The monkeys did receive medical services, including x-rays. After the Fair, Meyer reported that Buck "had disposed of most of the monkeys," many for medical research.

 
Patron-generated content represents the views and interpretations of the patron, not necessarily those of The New York Public Library. For more information see NYPL's Website Terms and Conditions.

Frank Buck is legendary. He

Frank Buck is legendary. He gave us chance to see the wild without having the risk to harm ourselves in the jungle. forex demo contest

8-13-2012

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