Saturday, December 17, 2011

St Louis Zoo Lion Show

I have posted these two pictures in the past, from 1946 and am re-posting them as it looks like the same arena in the first picture of Jules Jacot from the St. Louis Zoo Centennial web site. Was the arena moved to a new location, or were tree's cut down due to lumens? I note with interest the rope used for the lions to hold has a "handle" and what appears to be a solid mouth piece. Much different from an elephant rope used for the same behavior.

I note a "Court/European" influence in many of the early feline props at St. Louis.



Jim A. said...

I didn't see a date on the Court-like prop but it was labeled "training" act. My guess that would have been a Mike Kostial Sr. act. Vierheller billed the shows as animal training show into the late 1930's (Kostial Sr. era). I think Vierheller was trying to be an American Hagenbeck selling trained animals. For example Vierheller's plan was to sell two of Floyd Smith"s young trained elephants and replace them with two babies. Floyd coninced him to keep the older two and the babies and got a five act.

The tiger on the ball was Ham. The track for the ball was made of two lenghts of garden hose stretched between two pedestals. One of the cats sold to Carson and Barnes in spring 1970.

Wade G. Burck said...

One thing I have noted is that the show staff at St. Louis seems to have had more then enough props, with which to work with. Nice stuff too, for the most part. The hose deal is rather ingenious. Less obstructive and noticeable then a pipe track.