An Old Age Home for Chimpanzees
the police finished up
their investigation outside, the newspaper reporter and I
talked for a little while. I told him that we were retired
carnies and he told me that he had worked for the World of
Mirth Shows a few years before.
Then I asked, "Have you ever been over to Tarpon Springs to
*Noah's Ark Zoo? Those folks are old carnies too. They've
got gorillas, chimps, orangutans, baboons, monkeys,
alligators and tropical birds." He asked, "Real live
gorillas?" I replied, "They sure do."
He said, "Heck, I didn't know that! I'll have to run over
there and take a look sometime." I then told him, "If you
do, tell them that May and Fats Usher told you about them
and it won't cost you a penny to go in."
Then as an afterthought I added, "By the way, Tarpon Springs
is the only town in America that has an old age home for
chimpanzees. When they get too old to work the acts in the
circuses and carnivals, they retire them to
*Noah's Ark." He
checked his watch and said, "Gotta go! I'll talk to you
The following Sunday's edition, there was a two page
article, right in the center of the tourist section, showing
the zoo. There was Bob with Tommy, the gorilla, along with
Mae with the orangutan and pictures of the chimps. The
headline read, "Tarpon Springs, old age home for primates'
and went on to tell about the abandoned chimps and so on.
Later on, Bob and Mae made a special trip to Tampa just to
thank us. Bob said, "After the newspaper publicity, the
schools started bringing busloads of kids from Tampa and the
surrounding counties, to see the zoo."
Mae chimed in saying, "Fats, you really put us on the map
and you don't know how much we thank you. Anytime you guys
run out of money and don't have any place to go, remember
that you're welcome to park your trailer inside the compound
for free. There are electric, sewer and water hookups just
I replied, "Thanks, I know we can. We hope that you guys
make a ton at this."
article that it referred
to the zoo as Noahís Ark
Zoo, I donít know if
type o or the guy gave you the
his book Endangered Species William T. Usher refers to the
Zoo as Noah's Ark - In her book
Noell called it Noellís
Ark. Noellís Ark Zoo or
Chimp Farm was the
permanent sanctuary for
the retired apes.
To be Continued