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Issue Date: December 2009

Where Are They Now? Nancy ‘Safari Jane’ Tetzlaff-Berens

Edited by Jim Vickers; Katie Dragga, David Hansen, Christina Ipavec, Jason Lloyd, Jeannie Roberts, David Searls, Colleen Smitek, Wendy J. Sotos, Lynne Thompson, Shawn A. Turner & Matt Tullis
Nancy ‘Safari Jane’ Tetzlaff-Berens
Cedar Point’s Jungle Larry and Safari Jane Show

It’s been 15 years since many of us last saw Nancy “Safari Jane” Tetzlaff-Berens of Cedar Point’s Jungle Larry and Safari Jane Show. The attraction, which featured exotic cats, was a Cedar Point favorite for years and even continued for another decade following Larry Tetzlaff’s death in 1984.

But when the Sandusky amusement park’s ever-expanding collection of rides started closing in on Safari Island, Tetzlaff-Berens decided to move the operation to the Caribbean Gardens facility in Naples, Fla., she and her husband founded in 1969.

“Cedar Point never sleeps,” she explains. “When the park closes, the night crews come. They’re working on every ride all night long, they’re cleaning, and so the animals really were not getting enough rest.”

The move allowed Tetzlaff-Berens and her sons to focus on the Florida facility without the interruption of summers in Sandusky.

She was the president and CEO of Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens, now a nonprofit organization, until about 2005 when her son David became executive director.

Nancy’s retirement in 2006 hasn’t slowed the 71-year-old, who is now married to Robert C. Berens. She still pops in from time to time to attend board meetings, special events and other zoo functions.

“She’s just as busy as when she worked,” David Tetzlaff says. “I never can see her slowing down.”

Tetzlaff-Berens says visitors often recognize her from her Cedar Point days when she and her husband brought park visitors up close with some of the world’s largest and most fearsome cats.

“We always tried to bring out the beautiful, handsome, good characteristics of an animal,” she says.


Sunday, March 24, 2013 3:12:30 PM by carole matthews
I used to live in Cleveland Ohio an can remember Jungle Larry Tetzlaff bringing animals and talks to our school Very nice and interesting
Wednesday, April 17, 2013 12:02:56 AM by Kimberly
Jungle Larry was friend with my family back in "73, maybe earlier, I was just a kid. My family was also friends with a guy named Milt, his wife was Sandy. I was wondering if anyone knows whatever happened to them.

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