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Monroe Morning World Newspaper Archives Dec 29 1963, Page 11

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Monroe Morning World (Newspaper) - December 29, 1963, Monroe, Louisiana Animal specialist a fondness for animals and dislike for regimentation have led the director of the Monroe zoo to Many Jungle areas in search of live game. Here is the Story of kit Beecher. By Mary Anne Corpin staff writer three hours in a 12 by 12 foot pit with 1200 rattlesnakes crawling around your Bare feet. Nightmare material not the Way kit Beecher looks at it. He put on a Thow in the pit during a a Rattlesnake round up in Oklahoma. A since a Snake is incapable of deter i lining if you Are a person except when you move or Hurt him he a not going to bite you if you leave him alone Quot explains Beecher Monroe a zoo director. A the difference Between wild and tame animals is that the tame ones Arentt afraid of petted Tiger As he spoke he petted the zoos 16-month old tame Tiger a people ask me a How Long can you keep a Tiger tame. When will it revert a this does no to happen. Shasta is genuinely fond of people a but he has the Tiger instincts of the big cat purred. A if he becomes frightened a Beecher continued a any person involved with him at the time can get Hurt. Shasta Hasni to had Many experiences and will frighten easier than you or i. He a a powerful animal but he wont do what a Best Friend might do and Stab you in the Hack. It won t be that Type of few run ins Beecher has had a few run ins with animals and reptiles he a been bitten by Lions monkeys and a Leopard plus four poisonous snakes and was attacked by a wounded Jaguar while filming a movie in Columbia South America. A a in be never had an animal attack me in the True sense of the word a he says. A the Only time in be Ever been Hurt by an animal was when i was the aggressor. A to me animals Are far More humane than people. They Are More a live and let this is mainly a Lack of intelligence. They do not possess a mind capable of thought like we have a in the 13 years since he quit College to go to work for Ross Allen at the famed Snake and animal exhibit in Silver Springs. Florida animals have been the focal Point of Beecher a existence. In Lonroe Otto ring world it m m a a my m my a he who a m m be i in a a we of . A mrw a a w a m m my m 1 m a atm Mem Mem m my a Narn Mumm my i Job m my w m a w my w in pc a mob Monroe i,a., i it dec. 29, 1963 a 1-b editorials spotlight sports Mumm Arnm his travels with Arthur Jones have taken him to Central America Mexico Columbia Peru India Asia and Kenya and Tanganyika in Africa collecting animals for the reptile Jungle in Slidell for Sale by Jones import division a wild animals and for use in wild cargo television films and motion pictures. Beecher grew up on College campuses. His father Dean of Fine arts at the University of Southern Florida a was disappointed when i dropped out of College. A i did not feel that College would equip me for the kind of life i wanted to live. I really enjoy school talks and discussions and taking groups from schools through the zoo a its the reason for my existence. Satisfying life a but i never wanted the regimentation of the teaching profession. This life i have lived during the past 13 years has been very Beecher a fondness for animals landed him in the new Orleans jail once. He describes the whole thing As a a rather amusing he was playing with his pet lion at a Friend s House in Algiers and accidentally sliced his Finger on one of the cats Teeth. Beecher had an appointment at Diamond Jim Moran s restaurant in downtown new Orleans to work out details for using the lion a a Charlies in an advertisement to promote the slogan a food fit for he caught the ferry landed in new Orleans covered with blood and headed for the bus station to clean up. The Shower doors were locked. A i went looking for the attendant. Two police officers in the lobby saw me. A when they asked How i had gotten the blood All Over me. I explained that my lion had bitten me. They did no to believe me. They thought i must have killed released he was booked As a vagrant Bond was set at $25. He had $23 on him. But his work with motion picture Agency had Mai brought him in Contact with two police captains and a judge. A phone Call got him out of the Ca Laboose. The and it fell through. The health department frowned on taking a lion into a restaurant for a picture. Fame and Fortune once again brushed close to Beecher and Charlie. Beecher was in Hollywood rounding out negotiations for a 39-week television series starring Charlie As a tame lion when the pet was shot by a group of enraged new Orleans parents who mistook him for another lion which had bitten a Young boy. Beecher a run ins with snakes include the time he was transporting a Load of reptiles from Florida to the new York Serpent rim in the Adirondack mountains. He pulled off the Highway for a Nap rolled Over onto the bag of snakes and a Cottonmouth bit him on the Back of the hand. A the after effects of Poison Are like a hot Iron or a dozen Bee stings a he explains. A i Cut it open put suction bulbs on it kept this up for an hour and saw that the swelling had t progressed beyond my wrist. A i was due in new York at a certain time so i just kept on Beecher disapproves of movies and stories which make the animal the Vil Lian. A people too often give All snakes and animals a human qualities such As viciousness or vindictiveness that these animals do not have. A animals attack Man in the wild if they Are starving. In Ordinary conditions they Are terrified of Man and run away from with his wife Mildred and their two youngsters he has raised baby monkeys beavers wildcats Lions jaguars ocelot and squirrels on bottles in their Home. A to me. The most interesting experience is observation of people going through the zoo. Making faces at monkeys a people when they Are unaware that other people Are watching outstanding zoo Bernstein Park zoo currently is known As the nicest Little zoo in the country for a town this size. A no other City of 60,000 population in the United states has a zoo anywhere near As outstanding As this one a he comments. Beecher credits the Monroe City Council with the zoos development. A mayor w. L. Howard and commissioners h. W. Mcsherry and w. D. H. Rodriguez have seen the need for this Type of thing and Are responsible for it. A the development is All theirs. My Job Here is just handling the details for what they wanted to currently the zoo has some 600 animals representing 125 different species. A master plan compiled by the ouachita Monroe planning commission foresees using All available land to provide viewing of the animals on a scientific basis. Still in the planning stage a Contact zoo where children would have the Opportunity to touch and feed baby animals an increase in the educational Type services a Small Amphitheater and a series of programs in cooperation with Monroe s recreation centers. Recent developments at the zoo include the elephant House reptile ape and Birtic House the Tiger House built by the Optimist club new pens and a rebuilt work area. A i says Beecher a that when the Optimist club built the Monkey Island Castle the City Council realized they had something Down Here that people were interested in both individually and organization Wise. A the zoo is like anything else. It either grows and improves or it deteriorates. We have a fairly ambitious plan to provide an attractive feasible zoo. It can be built in a series of Steps As the needs show themselves. A the zoo will grow with Public a a in la be glad when he gets to weigh 300 pounds and outgrows that says director kit Beecher after a bout with Hal grown lion Heep. The lion was raised on a bottle like the roly poly cub shown with Beecher on the stairs of the Snake House. At Monkey Island Castle Overly Friendly monkeys swy armed Over him. In another building Sulphur crested cockatoo from Australia and moluccan cockatoo perched on his hands and squawked out a few words. These staff photos Are by Ben Bradford. Photo taken at Slidell shows Beecher covered we Ith snakes. In Hollywood actress Ann Blythe admires Peacock held by Beecher for scene from

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