Happy Holidays


1972-1976

Get in the Mindset

 43  years have passed since Warner Brothers Jungle Habitat©  closed its  gates for the last time. After all this time, people still fondly  remember this special place in West Milford, NJ. Take a step back to a  groovier time, when safari animals roamed (kinda) wild in the woods of  West Milford.  Remember, animals always have the right of way. Maintain a  speed limit of 10 mph and stay to the right if you're moving slowly!   While prowling along the Jungle trails, keep your car radio tuned to  station W-I-L-D, 640 on the AM dial so you can hear about what you're  seeing. 

Let's Learn

  A  lot can happen in four years, especially when you have 1,500 animals  running around in the yard. The purpose of this page is to dig deep into  the history of the park and to share rarely seen nuggets of Habitat  history. All of the content here will be based on history, none of that  "Jungle Habitat is haunted" nonsense. The information posted here is a  compilation of data from archive media, employee interviews, Open Public Record Act  requests and historical research. Traffic jams, baboon escapes, and  frequent displays of animal affection aside; let's take a look  at the  Habitat's rise and fall.  

Big Media in Rural New Jersey

Why West Milford? A large company like Warner Brothers could have built a safari park anywhere in the world. With  their headquarters in New York City, West Milford The park site was an hour's drive from midtown Manhattan.  Developers had to decide between West Milford or a parcel of land in Mahwah, NJ to build their grand vision. Mountains, huge rocks, humid summers and cold winters would be on the menu for either site. We will get into the specifics of how the West Milford choice contributed to the short-lived tenure of the safari park. 

In a nutshell

Jungle Junction

 If  you were young when you visited Jungle Habitat, this was the place  where the action was. There were rides, animals aplenty and a few spots  to buy  a souvenir. Here's a scan of the map - notice Bugs and friends  are all the way in the back of the park. You could decide if you wanted  to drive a Safari Jeep, a camel, an elephant (or all three). This map is  helpful to decipher what you're looking at if you venture into this  part of the park today. The animal check-in hut on the way in (just through the tubes)  is one of the easiest landmarks to identify. It's falling apart and  full of empty Keystone Light cans. One of the metal  Jungle Junction  signs was listed for sale on Ebay during the summer of 2012. It was  found under a heap of dirt and had substantial dents/dings, there's a  photo of it in the "NOW" photo gallery.   

Operational Overview

 Locals  in West Milford know all about the park's expansion plans that were  requested in the later part of 1975. Unless you lived nearby, it's quite  likely that you weren't aware that Warner Brothers was planning a large  capital investment in the park. Being closed during the winter months  amassed a large operating expense to Warner Brothers; heated barns for  the elephants, rhinoceroses, birds, ostriches and monkeys and enough  food to literally "feed a zoo". The daily ration for a lion was 20  pounds of raw horse meat. At the population peak, there were 70 lions at  Jungle Habitat! Do the math on that extrapolated across the 1,500  animals and you have quite a food bill. The park needed to make money  during the limited open season. Initially the park opened for the  season in May, but as the years passed, it switched to April. The core  operating season was April through September, and weekends through  October. The park had weekend rain insurance; if it rained over one inch  and patrons did not come, the insurance company would pay Warner  Brothers for the day. In the summer of 1975, Jungle Habitat received  rain-pay insurance for seven Sundays! During budgetary cycles in May of  1975, Warner executives wrote off 4 million dollars in the carrying  value of the park assets.   

Expansion Plans

A  zoo is dependent on visitors, and there were plenty flocking to West  Milford. During its 4 year of operations, over 6 million people visited  the park. Attendance was down in in 1976 and Warner Brothers attempted  to bring some new entertainment options to the park by requesting an  expansion variance. Warner Brothers wanted to build an amusement park on  the south-side of the property. The new area would feature a ferris wheel, log flume ride, and water features. The park closed at dusk, the  newly proposed rides would be open during regular daytime operating  hours.  Residents within 500 feet of the proposed site protested and  applied pressure to township officials. Township officials required  approvals at the ride level rather than as one single plan. The zoning  application was eventually withdrawn by Warner Brothers as they felt the  residents and township committee were not supportive of the project.  Add a 3.5 million dollar operating loss (since July of 1972) to that  lack of support and a swift exit seemed very appealing. 

1976 Zoning Meeting

 

Check out this link to read the April 27, 1976 West Milford Zoning Ordinance & Planning  Review board session where the application was discussed. 

It's  apparent that many residents feared the departure of Jungle Habitat  based on the outcome of this discussion. They were right. 

Great Adventure is coming

Warner Executives knew that a new theme park in Jackson, NJ (approx 1.5 hours south of Jungle Habitat) was being built. Great Adventure had plans to include full-scale rides and a safari drive-through. Conceived in 1972, Great Adventure opened in 1974. There wasn't enough tourism in the tri-state area to support two large safari parks. The roller coasters was a draw for families with older children, teens, and young adults. Management operated for two years after Great Adventure opened. The attempt to expand Jungle Habitat was going to take a sizable investment. The need to convince the West Milford residents and town council was critical to the survival of the Habitat.

Departure

 Warner chose to  walk away from their 10 million dollar investment. The decision to close  was so abrupt that the 1976 fall quarterly  in-house magazine "Warner World"  went to press with a large article about the multi-million dollar  expansion of Jungle Habitat. The intent was to make the park the largest  family amusement area in the East. When the park announced its closure  during the late fall of 1976, the capitalized value of the park was $2.5  million dollars.  We have been on the lookout for the fall 1976 issue  of "Warner World" through various personal & historical channels; it  is the last living record of what Jungle Habitat could have been. The new rides were shipped to  the United States from Germany and were in the port in NJ awaiting transport paperwork. All of the rides ended up going back to Germany and never made a debut in West Milford. 

Location, Animals, CLOSURE

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More on West Milford

 

Why  West Milford?  Why does a large movie corporation build a safari park  in rural Northern New Jersey?  When Jungle Habitat opened, easy ways to  get to West Milford did not exist. A proposal was made in the early  1960's by the NJ Department of Transportation to construct a 4 lane  highway to bypass Ringwood's Skyline Drive, go through Oakland, Wanaque,  Ringwood, West Milford and eventually Vernon. The recommendation was  made to build and extend Rt. 208 Northbound as a freeway extension  through Passaic & Sussex Counties. The plan had exits at Greenwood  Lake Turnpike in Ringwood, Margaret King Avenue in Ringwood, Marshall  Hill Road in West Milford, Unon Valley Road in West Milford, Lake Shore  Drive in West Milford and the Waywayanda State Park entrance in Vernon.  Are you making the connection? What two large resorts were built in New  Jersey in the 1970's along this corridor? Jungle Habitat and the Playboy  Club in Vernon. The Marshall Hill Road exit would take you to the  Habitat's gate.  Real estate prospectors and investors used these plans  to scout for future resort and business locations. The proposal would  have included a 21.4 mile interstate freeway with a 60mph speed limit.  Its maximum grade would be 5% and could have handled 30,000 vehicles per  day. The immediate priorities of the project were the connections  between Fairlawn & Franklin Lakes, and then Franklin Lakes to  Ringwood. The Ringwood to Vernon segment had a completion date of 1985.  Construction & right-of-way costs came to  $66.3 million to complete  the project. The high costs of the proposal coupled with the  environmental impact of the Wanaque Reservoir watershed eventually  retired the effort. The pathway for the extension also cut through  several areas with designated state and county parks. You can read more  about the 208 effort here if  you're in the mood for a traffic study. I bet the traffic situation  would have been a lot better if the option was in place for this  highway, but not much else. 

Rt  23 was probably the easiest for most via Echo Lake Road and many of the  park flyers provided directions to cut through Ringwood via Skyline  Drive in to county road 511.  Rt 511 is a flat winding road with no  signs of civilization for at least 8 miles. The road runs around the  Wanaque/Monksville Reservoir and was a favorite spot for speeding  Ringwood teens. It's scenic and is known as the  Passaic County Authobahn.  While the speed limit was fast enough, the moment you rolled  into West Milford, the roads became more narrow and twisty. The speed  limit also dropped. Pound for pound, you probably had a faster ride into  the park via Ringwood vs. coming up Rt. 23. Unless you're from West  Milford and the surrounding area, navigating the rural setting wasn't  easy.  When the park first opened, the entrance was on Marshall Hill  Road. That area has since been re-directed and flooded but is  semi-visible from the back corner of the park. A new entrance was made  via Airport Road in the winter of 1972 (across from the A&W)  helped  with the traffic flow and the overheating cars. Prior to the Airport  Road entrance, all cars went through the safari going uphill. After  waiting in an endless queue of traffic to GET to the Habitat, you had to  drive at a very slow rate of speed up a steep incline.  The new  entrance benefited everyone except for the owners of the towing  company. 


My  guess is that West Milford was chosen for two reasons: its proximity to  Manhattan and the amount of available land. During the 70's, the  corporate headquarters for Warner Communications was at 75 Rockelfeller  Plaza in Manhattan. Executives who worked out of the Manhattan facility  frequented West Milford - the trip could be made in 45 minutes to an  hour if traffic was light. West Milford had the kind of space required  to house a sprawling zoo. I think Ed Gola, former West Milford  councilman & freeholder had it right. "The Habitat is a real  good rateable;  it's money on the books and you don't have to worry  about costs." "A zoo doesn't mean a lot of kids that will be going to  school."   

In  the mid 1980's, the Jungle Habitat site was re-zoned for development by  the township of West Milford. Warner Brothers had been paying the  property taxes on an abandoned property for almost 12 years. There was  no commercial interest in the site and the area was re-zoned for  development of a townhouse complex and golf course. Based on the size of  the property, there would have been 5 units per acre of land with the  basic look and feel of West Milford's Bald Eagle Village. Developers  were scheming to build out the area until the stock market crashed in  1987. The real estate market took a dive and the property ended up in  the hands of the Prospect Park Bank. Local residents were not overly  excited at the prospect of the townhouse complex and its impact on the  land and potential strain on local services. Senator Frank Lautenberg  pressured local environmental groups to purchase the Jungle Habitat site  and the Lake Sonoma property through the New Jersey Green Acres program.  The Jungle Habitat site was purchased by the State of New Jersey for  $800,000 and Lake Sonoma property was obtained for $600,000. Both  properties combined equated to $1.4 million dollars. The streams  throughout the property have been upgraded to Category 1 so any  development in that area is now quite unlikely. There has been some  chatter in recent years to use the Habitat's parking area as a  contractor parking and storage area for a pipeline project. You can read  about the Dept of Environmental Protection Agency's report here, check page 8. .

The Animals

 

Is  this what brought you to the page? Are you one of the folks upset at  the rumors that animals were abandoned in a harsh New Jersey winter to  fend for themselves when the park closed? Put down the tissues because  it just didn't happen that way. Here's what the safari guidebook had to  say about the mission with regard to the animals, "Survival is no longer  the answer. More than mere existence, the Earth's wildlife must look  forward to preservation and propagation: in their native habitats in  animal preservation centers. Towards this ultimate goal, Warner Brothers  Jungle Habitat is dedicated."  - R. Brian Hunt.  That fluffy mission  statement translates to  Warner Brothers taking a stand towards  protecting and increasing animal populations. Not out in the rain forest  or savanna, but in West Milford. They had a functional hospital,  nursery and full veterinary staff on site.  When when you work with  animals, birth and death are part of the daily operation.

 New  Jersey has an  unpleasant winter  from December through March. Winters  in the 1970's were extremely cold, I remember being bundled up like a  well-insulated Randy from "A Christmas Story" and still not being  warm. If you were lucky enough to be a rhino, elephant, ostrich, bird or  monkey you had a nice heated barn to wait the winter out. The rhinos  were the park's most valuable animal assets with the elephants a close  second. The barns  had a lot of excrement inside, but were heated and  provided shelter. During the winter of 1976, there were 20 rhinos in the  rhino barn.  The marine animals (the porpoise and seals)  were flown to  Florida by private jet as a small unheated pool  is no match for a New  Jersey winter. The giraffes and alligators were shipped to Ohio in an  animal holding facility. All of the other animals were outside for the  winter which was difficult for even the furriest.  The only animals  suited for such cold were the Siberian tigers. The hoofed animals were  in better shape as they had some insulation from the cold, but the lions  and Baboons likely struggled the most for the 4 winters they had to  endure. The baboons took the worst of it with frequent cases of  frostbite on their fingers, toes and tails. A former employee shared a  few sad stories of the baboon fingers & tails freezing and just  falling off.  The lions had a trailer to jump into, but they couldn't  live in it full time. The giant land tortoises couldn't survive the fall  of 1972. The population started with 40 animals in July, dwindled to 20  by Mid-October and 8 by late November. It's unclear if the animals died  or were moved to the Ohio animal holding facility. At the urging of a  member of the NY Herpetological Society, the tortoises were moved into a  barn with heat lamps and hay to keep help keep them warm. 

This  cycle repeated year after year - open from April/May through October  and then the animals prepared for winter. When the lights were shut down  to the public for the last time over Halloween weekend in 1976, the  logistics of moving and transporting the animals became a reality. The  work began in December of 1976 and continued through March of 1977. By  April of 1977, 400 animals remained in the park. 1075 of the animals  were sold to International Animal Exchange under the care of Brian Hunt.  Some of the deer were sold to shooting preservations in the Southern  United States.  During the winter, approximately 30 animals died from a  variety of causes. Two male camels who had a reputation for being  perpetually unruly got into a fight in their pen and one did not  survive. 6 deer, 2 buffalo, 1 steer and 19 llamas were euthanized due to  tuberculosis. An elephant also died of natural causes.  Since it was  winter, the ground was frozen and the animals were not buried  immediately. Their carcasses were in a state of advanced decomposition  by March. The board of health investigated, and although Warner Brothers  was in violation of a health-code law, no sanctions were filed.  There  is a large cement square on the way into the park via Airport road  adjacent to the cliffs beside the airport. The animal carcasses were  buried and entombed in cement for eternity.  Others are buried in pits  in the back of the park near gate #13. Their bones sometimes come to the  surface in the spring months as the graves are sagging inward. 

The  drama and rumor mill about the animals began in March of 1977. While  the remaining animals were being prepared for transport, the veterinary  staff had to dart the animals with tranquilizers. M99, a heavily  controlled substance that is between 1,000-3,000 times more potent than  morphine was used to sedate the large mammals for safe transport. Local  residents heard repeat gunshots coming from the direction of the park  and called the media. Within hours, reporters from the New York Times  were on-site taking pictures and names. Hikers also found the decaying  corpse of a baby elephant in the woods.  This was when winter's carnage  was discovered and the pictures of the decapitated elephant emerged.  An  investigation ensued. There was no internet, just good ol' Passaic  county chit-chat between the Gladys Kravitz types. Through word of mouth  and assumptions, an urban legend was born. Warner Brothers killed the  animals....Warner Brothers released the animals into the woods....Warner  Brothers left the animals in their cages and closed shop.  Nonsense!  Jungle Habitat was a business, one that didn't fare well on  the balance sheet in the end. The animals and park property were the  only assets left to recoup some of the financial impact of the park's  closure. The sale of the animals paled in comparison to the overall  investment in the park. More marine animals were purchased over the  summer of 1976 that never made public display at Jungle Habitat.  A "killer whale" (Orca) was purchased for $80,000, a sea lion for  $10,000 and another porpoise for $24,000. The animals made it to the  park, but never to the public's eye. I don't even want to estimate the  transport costs for an Orca from San Diego, California to West Milford,  New Jersey. "Can I have some insurance and delivery tracking on that whale?"  We eon't even tackle the topic of the movie "Blackfish" which addressed the capture and transportation of ORCAS in the 1970's.

Some  animals escaped into West Milford, the baboons, baby wolves, a flying  peacock and an ostrich. A Ridge road resident told me of an un-reported  escape of an Alaskan Timberwolf that was perched on his car one  morning. The park had electric fences, some of which had barbed wire on  top. There were 7 observation towers for employees to watch the animals,  and 2 rangers in each predator compound. Rangers had shotguns with  blanks for ammunition, only the senior rangers had live ammunition.  Employees had to be 17 years old to work directly with the  animals.  None of the big guys ever got out, and let's be honest, West  Milford has more black bears than any town in the state of New  Jersey!  West Milford is known as the "Bear Capital of New Jersey".  Please tell me you get the irony?  

Harold  the Chimpanzee had the longest public career -  after Jungle Habitat  closed,he became the mascot of the Cosmos soccer team. Steve Ross, the  CEO of Warner Communications, was a soccer fan and created the COSMOS  team shortly after Jungle Habitat closed. Bugs, Porky, Wile E. Coyote,  Tweety, Sylvester and Yosemite Sam joined Harold at the Cosmos games to  work up the crowd. We know at least one of the former habitat employees  who donned the Bugs suit continued the job for the Cosmos. Harold got  all of the cool gigs like going on Wonderama, posing with Broadway  singers in local bars for AP photos and various meet and greets. Sugar, a  Siberian tiger, got to swim around in the Playboy Club resort pool for a  publicity photo. The animals who were seen out and about were taken  out, deliberately, under the supervision of their handlers. 

So  please, the next time someone tells you, "I heard the animals were left  there!" - set them straight. Some suffered during the cold months in  conditions that were less than ideal for their species. Crocodiles were  frozen in ponds and many were lost along the way, but none were left  behind. 

​We  here at westmilfordjunglehabitat.com are all big animal lovers - this  was the hardest piece of the history to get through. If you have an  animal story you'd like to tell, please contact us. 


Park Closure

 

After  the park announced that it was closing, the work to clear the property  of animals and any valuable assets was underway. On January 19th, 1977,  Mahlon Apgar from the Alexander Summer Company appeared at a town  meeting to advise the township of the property's sale. The site was  listed for $3.4 million dollars (equivalent to 11 million dollars today)  and Mr. Apgar was requesting cooperation from the township committee to  find a buyer and to assist with the sale of the property. As the  newspapers covered the story in the months and years to follow, no  private buyers purchased the land. Warner Brothers paid the taxes on the  property from 1972 until the site was purchased by the State of New  Jersey in 1988 for $1.45 million dollars. The site is now open as a  state park, and has a number of active number of  biking trails. The  trails are maintained by the hard-working trail monkeys at  JORBA.  If you like to ride and like Jungle Habitat, visit their site and check  out their intricate network of trails. Without their cleanup work, the  park would look very different today. 

Let's  talk a bit about the renegade period of Jungle Habitat. Before the  state purchased it, while the fences were still up and under heavy lock  and key. When  the park closed, the site was not open to the public and was heavily  patrolled. Not by the local police, but private security managed by  Warner Brothers. It was after the park's closure that the habitat took  on a  separate persona to bored teens in the area, myself included.  The  animals and large assets were moved out of the park, but a great deal  was left behind. Items that were not deemed of value or available for  re-sale were left on the grounds. The power was left on, but the fences  were no longer electrified. The need to keep the animals in no longer  existed, but there seemed to be a great need to keep trespassers out. I  wondered for decades who was patrolling the park (and if you ever went  into the habitat you know someone was) and asked the West Milford police  department. The former police chief confirmed that the police  department never had jurisdiction over the property. I don't know who  they were, but this group was organized and never out in the open.  Evidence of their existence was apparent. As a teenager I always  wondered why all of the cloak and dagger fun, just turn the Electric  Fence back on - problem solved. 


During   a particularly boring summer night in  1987, a few friends decided to cut the chains and locks to the main entrance with commercial grade  bolt-cutters.  We drove into the park well after midnight with the car's  headlights off for fear of being detected. Past investigations through  the front gate always resulted in a visit from a dude with a BB gun full  of rock salt. I still bear the scar where one of those shots landed.  (And yet, it wasn't enough to deter us from revisiting) Since we  couldn't see (and it was quite likely there was alcohol involved) we got  spooked and decided to come back when the sun came up. When we  returned at daybreak, the chains and locks were replaced along with some  additional physical barriers.  What was in there that we couldn't see?  Of course I realize now the security people were just doing their jobs  and securing the property, but at the time, it was personal. Not one to  turn away from a challenge, getting in became my mission. My most  successful trips into the habitat were via the old entrance before the  road was flooded and re-directed. The roadway which remained barricaded  with 6-7 large boulders for two decades was the easiest way to get in  undetected. You had an advantage if you had a bike as you could outrun  those on foot.  I was also shot at with a BB gun from this entrance, but  trying to hit a moving target was too large a task for a jungle-based  mall cop. 


People  were often seen in the woods, usually other curious thrill-seekers or  treasure hunter types with the portable metal-detectors. There was a  local squatter living in the park who I avoided a few times. Seeing him  appear out of the woods was very Jason-esque. (from Friday the 13th) I  knew enough to steer clear. There were newspapers in the cages with  recent dates, it was evident that I was not the only one interested in  scouring the inside of the fences. There were stacks of papers lying  around in different huts, ride ticket reels, straws and junk that was  deemed unimportant to discard. You couldn't really linger in the open  areas without fear of detection. If you went into the park, you had to  keep moving quietly. Other than the sounds of birds, the park was always  completely silent. If you didn't know where you were going, you could  easily get lost as many of the paved trails look the same. I would  imagine that many a West Milford teen was lost in the Habitat at some  point during their adolescence. There is evidence of partying in the  woods to this day, cheap plastic bottles of vodka and campfires atop the  Baboon Hill area. Visiting during the fall is particularly challenging  as the fallen leaves cover the trails and forest floor. When i had the  opportunity to get some cool stuff out of the park, i lacked the tools  and means. Now the opportunity is long gone.

That's all Folks

 

You wan walk into the park now, no locks, no chains, no rock salt. If you're thinking about it, bring a bike as there is a LOT of ground to cover. 

Forty three years after its close, Jungle Habitat remains a bit of a cement and  macadam wasteland untouched by the promise of commercial rateables or  any legitimate tax revenue. It's  a great place to bike, hike and walk, but it's hard not to wonder how  the face of West Milford would have changed forever had Warner Brothers  stayed. Had the town embraced the menagerie and all of its quirks, the  township would have regular tourism. Frustrating as traffic may be,  tourism always helps the local businesses. Was keeping the immediate  neighbors of the habitat happy more important than the overall growth  and financial future of the town?   Obviously the question is  rhetorical, we can't turn back the clocks or head down the "what-if"  path. Had  the town supported the expansion, Warner Communications would have  continued forward. Warner Brothers was a huge corporation willing  to do what was needed to move forward.  The lack of support from the  town in addition to the lackluster financial view of any new  attractions triggered the exit from West Milford. When Jungle Habitat  didn't work out, Warner moved on and invested their money into building  the Cosmos soccer club. Warner obviously had the money and the drive to  keep Jungle Habitat alive, what they lacked was the promise of smooth  sailing from the township and some residents. The situation reads  like an Emily Dickinson poem straight of  literature class; an  unrequited relationship that ends with one person departing for good.  Sometimes the best thing to do is walk away.   

Speaking personally, I'd prefer to hear lions roar instead of the adding machine keystrokes calculating a tax bill.  

In the news

Habitat Articles


 ​During its brief run, Jungle Habitat was not short on news articles. There were few local newspapers besides the Suburban Trends and the Argus. As a result,  the New York Times, The Record, and The New York Post often picked up stories about the happenings in West Milford. We didn't have time to tackle the NY Post archives yet, but have it on the short list of to-dos.  Put on your reading glasses, grab a cup of Joe and let's get started.  

1972

Jungle Habitat Struggled to Survive: Suburban Trends: July 19th, 1972

Habitat Tackles Its Troubles: Special to the New York Times: August 13th, 1972  

Lion Around in West Milford: Suburban Trends: September 17th, 1972

A Veldt of Animal Life in New Jersey: The Traveler's World: October 1st, 1972

Mauling by Lion at Habitat recalled: 5 Long Minutes of Horror: New York Times: October 11th, 1972

Eyewitness to Mauling rap Habitat Management: Suburban Trends: October 11th, 1972   

Wolves Escaped from West Milford's Jungle Habitat: Suburban Trends: November 22nd, 1972  (P.S. The wolves came back on their own, they were never caught)

Big Fun Boom! Farm Area Cultivating a Rich Crop of Tourists: New York Times: November 12th, 1972

Jungle Preserves: Great for Everyone except the Animals: Stand Speaker: Hazleton, PA: November 29th, 1972

FLASHBACK: Complaints over Jungle Habitat grow: Northjersey.com: September 15, 2016

1973

Jungle Habitat is Cleaning up Water: New York Times: April 8th, 1973

Jungle Habitat is now a Good Neighbor: New York Times: October 28th, 1973

1974

Two Siberian Tiger Cubs born at Jungle Habitat: Special to the New York Times: June 14th,1974

1975

Lion Bounce Remains open in West Milford: Suburban Trends: October 1975


1976

Jungle Habitat Expanding Lair: The Times Herald: Middletown, New York: August 6th, 1976

Jungle Habitat plans to close Zoo in New Jersey: New York Times: November 1st, 1976

Verdict on Habitat: New York Times: November 1st, 1976

Closing of Jungle Habitat was a surprise even at Warner Brothers: New York Times: November 10th, 1976

Jungle Habitat mourned in West Milford: Suburban Trends: November 7th, 1976  <---- a Gwen favorite

1977

West Milford's Jungle Habitat put up for Sale: Suburban Trends: January 19th, 1977

Decaying Animal Carcasses Found Unburied at Jungle Habitat Site: Special to the New York Times: April 6th, 1977

1978

What Ever Happened to Jungle Habitat?: The New York Times: May 11, 1978

1981

Elephant Bite Suit Settled: New York Times: February 3rd, 1981

Elephant Bite Victim given $200,000 in damages: The Reading Eagle, February 3rd, 1981

1981

What Killed West Milford's Jungle Habitat? The Suburban Trends: December 4th, 1985

1989

Kangaroo Sighting in Oakland: Suburban Trends: March 8th, 1989     


2004

Kids Tackle Suburban Jungle: Special to the Herald News: July 18th,2004

2006

Many Still Wrangling over Jungle Habitat Site: Suburban Trends: February 2, 2006

Taking Back the Jungle:Where lions once roared West Milford plans Eco-Park: The Record: March 21st, 2006

Cub Crazy: How one Family Turned its Home into a Zoo: The Record: August 21, 2006    

2013

Township seeks to lease state properties: Suburban Trends: July 31, 2013

On a budgetary shoestring, PAL silences Thunder in the Highlands: Suburban Trends: June 23, 2013

2014

Fair Lawn zoo tried to relocate to West Milford: Suburban Trends: March 9, 2014

Website to shed light on West Milford's Jungle Habitat: Suburban Trends: May 21, 2014

The Lion Sleeps Tonight: The Magazine: August 28, 2014

It's a jungle out there: Suburban News, September 11, 2014

2015

West Milford Council Arranges Feasibility Studies for ATV Park: NorthJersey.com: April 30, 2015

West Milford ATV Park Mission On Course, Off Track: NorthJersey.com: May 4, 2015

West Milford Residents voice ATV Park Concerns to Town Council: NorthJersey.com: May 14, 2015

Pump BMX Bike Track evolved from 2001 BMX Proposal in West Milford: NorthJersey.com: June 4, 2015

Remember Jungle Habitat? New plans eyed for Wild Site: nj.com June 30, 2015

2016

Jungle Habitat operated from 1972 to 1976: Northjersey.com  September 8, 2016

Use of Jungle Habitat land for tourism discussed: AIM  February 18, 2016

Complaints over Jungle Habitat Grow in 1972: AIM September 15,2016

Abandoned Jungle Habitat in West Milford may be revived as Mountain Bike park: NorthJersey.com  October 12, 2016

Jungle overgrown but not forgotten: NorthJersey.com October 16, 2016

State pitches Pay to Play for Jungle Habitat site: Northjersey.com October 16, 2016

Opinion: NJ Bike with Trail Bar: Northjersey.com  October 18th, 2016

West Milford wants voice in Mountain Bike park plans: Northjersey.com  October 20, 2016

2017

Bike trails built where wild animals once roamed jungle of West Milford: New Jersey Herald  January 24, 2017

State Revises plans for West Milford's Jungle Habitat: Northjersey.com  March 31, 2017

Lions, tigers and Looney Tunes: The Legacy of Jungle Habitat: Northjersey.com  November 19, 2017

A bit of Jersey Pop Culture gone at Jungle Habitat: Northjersey.com  December 6,2017

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