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Bullen's African Lion Safari Yatala

 
 
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  #1
Bullen's African Lion Safari Yatala
Old 14-04-2011

I was just reading another thread and Mark brought up the female Indian elephant that resided at the African Lion Safari near Beenleigh,Queensland.
Instantly old memories came back to me from the two weeks work experience I did at the Bullen's African lion safari when I was 15. Let me tell you there were no rules and as far as I knew no OH&S standards to follow. I was thrown straight into work and I don't mean picking up rubbish or raking the goat pen. I remember the first day working with the elephant having to saddle her up as she gave rides to park visitors. She was a grumpy old girl. She would hit you with her trunk if at the front of her and if you are standing behind her, she would hit you with a tale. Now that look back she was probably a little on the dangerous side. She didn't like taking directions, she like chasing people and very often broke free and would be found the next day eating banana trees down the road. I also remember a funny thing she would do while she had visitors on the back. Every so often she would drop a step, this caused her saddle and everyone in it to tilt at a very dangerous angle. If anybody else has any memories or even better photos of this park, I would love to hear about their memories and see the photos.
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Old 14-04-2011

I can't remember her name. It was 25 years ago.She was an old circus elephant an she performed a couple of short shows each day. I realise coming from the Bullens background they may have had a number of elephants at that park over the years.

For people who don't know the park, it was the old drive through in your own car scenario. They had a large pride of African lions with other big cats in smaller cages that you could drive by and look at. These included tigers (subspecies?), Mt lion and if I remember correctly,Leopard. At the back of the large enclosure they had maybe 6 to 8 brown bears. (European species?) Which loved being hand fed loaves of bread.

They were performing macaques that would ride ponies and that sort of thing. There was also an area like a petting zoo and included domestic animals as well as a single raccoon, a single aguti and and a species of black bear (Asian I think).
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  #3
Old 14-04-2011

I'm sure Jumbo was a lovely elephant and I liked her a lot. As I said earlier I was in year 10 and this was just work experience. While at the lion Safari. I, as a 15-year-old was left alone with this elephant. I'm sure she respected her regular handlers much more than a 15-year-old snotty nosed kid on work experience.

I must say my highlight was the lion feed. Where I got to ride shot gun in the feeding truck. I'll never forget my first time, as we were entering the lion enclosure I went to wind my window up and found it was broken. A few seconds later I had a lioness trotting right next to me. If I wanted to touch her I could have. If she wanted to eat me, there was nothing stopping her.lol. I was shitting my pants the whole time I was in the enclosure. When I was asked if I wanted to go again I didn't hesitate and jumped straight in.
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  #4
Question Where was the park located ?
Old 28-12-2011

I remember being taken to the African Lion Safari (near Beenleigh) as a kid, as well as the Currumbin Bird Sanctuary. The Bird Sanctuary is still there but the Bullens Lion Safari is gone. It WAS going to become a raceway, but due to complaints by nearby residents, this did not happen. I guess they would prefer to have escaped wild animals roaming their streets than have "hoons" lurking about.
I have often wondered if the M1 Freeway devoured it !
Where exactly was it located and what is on the site now ??

P.S. The Yatala Drive-in theatre is still there and still showing movies.
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  #5
Old 24-10-2012

Hi folks, the Bullens Lion Safari has been replaced in part by an industrial estate. One of the streets in the estate is named Lions Park Drive. It borders Stanmore Road and Elderslie Road at Yatala. The M1 did not encroach on any of the old site that I know of.

The following link will show the location including Lions Park Drive https://maps.google.com/maps?q=yatal...Australia&z=16

I have fond memories of this park as a small child. I am in my mid 40s now but remember visiting as a 4 year old and driving through the Lion enclosure. I also remember a big space rocket in the playground you could play inside.

I am considering starting a memories of Bullens Facebook page and would love to learn more about this old favourite.
 


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