Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Ghost Zoo--Benson's Wild Animal Farm

Roland Tibor is the trainer in the picture below. Is the same person pictured in the photo above?

Benson's employed a number of well know trainers over the years. Does anyone, besides Jim Alexander, recall the name of a Bensons bear trainer who also worked with chimps and elephants who was killed by a bear in 1956 at a well known facility in Illinois that had contracted his services?

Also does anyone know anything about this trainer and what happened to the circus wagons mentioned:

Leslie Binks, was an animal trainer at Benson's in the 1930's -40's. He was brought to this country from England by John Benson, who had seen his act(white liberty horses) in England at the Bostock and Womball Menagerie Show. There were two old circus wagons on display at Benson's that came from the same Circus.


Jim A. said...

I heard from Roland Tiebor Sr. that R.T. Jr. went to Benson's after working the Detriot Shrine date in 1963. Sr. went up to help work a sea lion on a stage was his last circus performance. I think Tiebor Jr. also worked chimps at Benson's.

(You're correct, I do know the mystery trainer: a clue - P.L.)

Jim A. said...

Mike Kostial Sr., the Zoo's first cat trainer, came to the St. Louis Zoo from Benson's in 1932. Richard Havermann might have come with him. Havermann trained sea lions and other animals at the Zoo for a few years then left left for San Diego.

Maggie said...

Hello there!

I realize this post is dated, but you still seem to post to this blog. I am hoping that, if you're still curious, you will see my comment.

Leslie Binks was my great grandfather. I do not know too much, and nothing at all about the wagons, but I could see what information I can find if you're still interested.