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Safari Jane with Reticulated Python

 

Although her recent years on corporate and museum boards and state tourism committees have kept her in business attire, Nancy Jane, also known as Safari Jane™, has spent the majority of her life in khakis.

Together with her husband, Lawrence Jungle Larry™ Tetzlaff, she has trekked to some of the earth's remote outposts. Nancy traveled the jungles and rivers of South America to photograph the landscapes and their inhabitants. Along with Larry, she collected animals to be used in educational presentations and as breeding stock for American zoos. Her time in West Africa included both lush rainforests and dusty roads. In Central and South America, the Caribbean, or Africa, Larry's 16mm motion picture cameras rolled while Nancy's 35mm Nikon caneras recorded sights to show fascinated audiences back home in the states.

Those early years with Larry were occupied with learning his lifetime of animal wisdom. From administrative reports to cleaning duties, Nancy Jane worked with her husband in all facets of the zoo. So while Larry was in Australia or East Africa, she ran zoo operations back home. From anteaters to zebras, Nancy Jane has cared for a variety of extraordinary creatures. Although her love for all animals is evident, her favorites are the cats without a doubt. Never declawed or defanged, leopards, cheetahs, caracals, jaguars, tigers, servals, and lions have all been part of her life.

Jungle Larry and Safari Jane

Nancy was also a great supporter of women joining the zoological field. When she began her career, only a handful of women were employed in the field working with animals. From her own experience, she knew women were capable of handling the challenges of the work and hired many young women at both their Cedar Point and Naples Zoo facilities. Today many zoos - including Naples Zoo- employ a majority of women in the keeper departments.

Following Larry's death in 1984, she faithfully continued zoo operations to their current expansions. And both sons are with her in those efforts. In 1994, the Tetzlaffs closed their facility inside Cedar Point to focus on bringing the Naples facility to its current success. Eldest son David has followed in his father's footsteps presenting shows and overseeing the zoological collection as Zoo Director. Their youngest son Tim serves as Director of Conservation and Communications from his office in Ohio and travels to Naples throughout the year.

Today, Nancy Jane is retired and enjoys Naples life with her husband Robert C. Berens.

Learn more at www.junglelarry.com

 


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