Thursday, October 2, 2008

Jungle Habitat

Welcome to the jungle, we got fun and games

And cages, and lots of abandoned paths through the woods.

We got everythin you want, honey we know the names…

Peacock, tiger, wolf, owl…

We are the people that can find, whatever you may need

How about a way out?

If you got the money honey we got your disease


Me and Nicky took it upon ourselves to venture up to West Milford, probably the creepiest town in NJ, and found, near the airport, the remnants of an abandoned “drive-through-zoo” called Jungle Habitat.

The place was operated by two bumbling idiots and owned by Warner Brothers, opening it in the summer of 1972 and closing it Halloween weekend 1976. Contrary to popular belief, the park was not closed because some Isreali tourist got attacked by a pair of lions, no, it was closed because of poor attendance. It is true about the mauling tho, and also, a particularly dumb lady got bitten by a baby elephant… okay, who gets BITTEN by a baby elephant?

You can’t make this shit up.

Either way, it’s been left to rot for over thirty years now, and attracts all manner of hikers, backpackers, joggers, idiots who don’t leash their big dogs and let them run full speed at me and girlfriend, and people like us.

It’s really a great place to go, and it’s totally legit, nothing even remotely illegal about it. Beautiful scenery all around, my photos really do it no justice at all. Tiny rivers snake their way all about the place, asphalt cracks apart and trees grow out of what was once solid asphalt. It’s a beautiful thing. You can see the cages still, and hear the last of the exotic birds squawking in the trees.

You never would think that you’re still in New Jersey.

THIS is the way my Magellan GPS said was the best route there.

Dont sneeze

Before it started to rain

Rain drops keep fallin on my head...

Gotta wonder how long THATS been there.

These are the dogs that went after me and Nicky. Stupid owners.

It all looks the same after a while, no wonder we got lost.
We weren't really lost, Nicky just found us shortcut back.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am a resident of West Milford. I moved here in 1977 and just missed being able to see Jungle Habitat when it was open. Therefore, my friend and I went back there this past weekend to check it out.
It is truely AMAZING... to see these types of ruins is like being back in time. There are fences still standing, as well as trails and enclosures. It is cool to think what it may have looked like in the 1970's. If anyone has pictures of this area when it was up and running, please post them.