The old actor’s adage says to never work with animals or kids, but Hollywood’s history is full of lions, bears, monkeys, and more.
Professional trainer Charlie Sammut is now turning his 51-acre Wild Things ranch into the non-profit Monterey Zoo.
Positive effects on area
Sammut, whose new venture will be the only one of its kind between the Bay Area and Santa Barbara, hopes the transformation will benefit the 180 animals he looks after as well as the local community and Monterey County in general.
With apartment rentals in San Francisco being such a popular choice for many visitors to the US, the new attraction is sure to have an appeal that stretches far beyond local residents.
A report issued by the Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau indicated that a new zoo would draw on the interest already being created by the Monterey Bay Aquarium, but it has taken several years for Sammut to get the state approvals he needed.
“We wanted to give our animals much larger-style enclosures, with a lot more things in the enclosures for mental stimulation,” he explained. “We’re building something that’s not described in the code.”
Different species on display
The first exhibit is a large $600,000 recreation area for Sammut’s four Bengal tigers, who previously only had 300 square feet in which to roam around.
Many of the animals have been rescued from circuses and carnivals and then worked in film production.
Sammut also owns a herd of five elephants, two water buffalos, a zebra, and an ostrich.