West Milford, New Jersey
In 1972, Jungle Habitat was opened in West Milford, New Jersey as a zoo for the adventurers of the world. Half of the park was similar to an average zoo. It had a petting zoo, snack bars, reptile house, etc. The second half of the park was quite the opposite. It allowed guests to drive their own vehicles into the woods and go on a self guided safari ride. The tour allowed guests to see free roaming monkeys, elephants, llamas, giraffes, lions, and tigers. Animals would often walk right up to cars and sometimes climb on top of them. As one could imagine, Jungle Habitat was faced with a series of “accidents” during its operating years.
Within the park’s first year of operation, the park experienced its first “accident” when a guest was attacked by two lions. Shortly after, a woman was bitten by a baby elephant who had grabbed her arm with its trunk. In addition to these incidents, the animals were constantly escaping into the town of West Milford. A wild case of tuberculosis also spread among the park’s animals, resulting in many of them having to be put down.
After closing in 1976, the park was quickly abandoned. Carcasses of animals, including elephants and giraffes, were left behind. The remains of Jungle Habitat is a popular hiking spot to this day.