Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Animal World was located in Eldon, Missouri at the Lake of the Ozarks and was opened from sometime in the 1970's until the late 80's or early 90's.

I celebrated my 10th birthday at Animal World back in 1980 and made some lasting memories. We spent most of the day petting and feeding all kinds of animals and watching the various animal shows. The most popular show was the parrot show that featured a talking bicycle riding parrot. I even made friends with a burrow who followed me around the whole park.


I remember feeling sorry for a animal freak five-legged cow who was kept by himself in a small fenced off area. Actually, I felt sorry for most of the animals as the living conditions were probably not the best.

My Mom took two rolls of photos of us kids running around the park, but unfortunately the rolls were ruined by the developer. (As you read on you’ll notice this place had a photo curse!)

After the park closed, it sat vacant for years and nature started to reclaim it. In the late 90's, I finally took some photos. Driving up to the front, I noticed the Elk statue that sat on top of the sign was missing. I was aggravated since it was just there a week before. Anyway, I started taking photos and then as I entered the park my camera stopped working and it stopped working permanently!

Here are those photos –

I revisited this camera cursed place again in 2005 and I was now packing a digital camera. I had planned to walk the whole park and finally document the ruins. After taking basically the same photos of the front as before, my brand new digital camera quit on me. Luckily, this camera was still under warranty.

Here are those photos –

Next it was spring of 2006 and again I had my camera ready to take some photos. This time I was with a friend and we entered the park thru the back. We entered a small structure that used to house the reptiles and rodents. It was really creepy as we were surrounded by rusty cages and broken fish tanks and we had to wade thru old trash that had been thrown in. It was time to take some photos and again I wasn’t able to. This time it was my fault, as I forgot to put in the memory card and I didn’t have any extras with me. I just couldn’t believe it as I always have a spare card and I always have one in the camera. Again, the Animal World camera curse continued. We snooped around a little longer until I almost stepped on a big venomous copperhead snake. My foot was just a few inches from that snake and I was lucky that he didn’t bite me.

Photo from Missouri Conservation (It was much bigger than this one!)

We decided to call it a day after that episode.

I snapped one more photo in the fall of 2006 and it was a nice wide shot of the dilapidated park from the side of the road. Naturally, I’ve been looking all over for this photo all morning and it’s nowhere to be found.

This spring Animal World finally won at not letting me take any photos, as it was completely torn down.

It must’ve been haunted by that five legged cow. “Boo Moo Moo . . .”


Anonymous said...

I would like to see some pics of the old "Fun City" at Lake Ozark, Missouri.

Anonymous said...

You are very lucky. That place was full of snakes from its Max Allen's Reptile Garden days.