Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Lion Country Safari

Let's take a trip to Lion Country Safari, in glamorous, exciting Irvine, California! We'll have to go back in time to do it, though - - there were 6 Lion Country Safaris at one time or another (including Cincinnati, Atlanta, Dallas, Richmond, and West Palm Beach) but the Irvine version closed in 1984.

I love this wonderful shot of the marquee that could be seen at the park's entrance! Check out the undeveloped land in the background... I guarantee that it is all covered in buildings today.

Peek a boo! These huts resemble the kind found in various South African villages, with their thatched roofs and brightly-colored and whitewashed exteriors. I'm not sure if they were just empty shells or if you could go inside.

Dammit, if I wanted to see tigers I would have gone to Tiger Country Safari! I demand my money back, plus and additional $100,000 for pain and suffering.


TokyoMagic! said...

I seem to remember those giant tusks standing for some time after Lion Country Safari closed. Any chance that they are still there today?

Connie Moreno said...

I am only about 6 miles from the former LCS so I'll swing by and take some "present day" photos for y'all.

I LOVE those tigers.

Mike said...

Some of those huts still remain at Wild Rivers water park, however after this summer it is closing forever as well as the land gets developed for residential use.

Major Pepperidge said...

TM, I can't believe that those tusks would still be there 26 years after the closure of LCS, but maybe Connie will confirm it for us!

Mike, thanks for the update, even if it's sad!

JG said...

Hey Major, don't be so upset about the tigers. After all, they are just "lyin'" around.


Chris Jepsen said...

Yes, the tusks are long gone. And so is Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, which can be seen behind the photo tusks in the photo.

Annie said...

The only thing left at this location from the zoo is the bordering shrubbery. Wild Rivers keeps saying it's their last summer every year, but I have yet to see it close it's doors. Although more and more housing keeps popping up around it.
The El Toro base is mostly gone, but those hangers are still there. It gets used for private planes and they film movies inside too. I remember Japanese bombers flying above our house during "Pearl Harbor" filming and the "Austin Powers" blimp went a few rounds. Scared the dog half to death! LOL

Tris Mast said...

Not everything in the tusk photo is gone today. The median that they are standing on is still there, plus the patch of grass behind them. Some of the empty field remains, however, a photo taken from that angle today would have a Burger King building in the background.