Sign in. Watch now. A long time ago, over lions were kept in the City of El Monte where the 10 freeway meets the intersection of Peck and Valley Blvd.
In the early s, a lion tamer and his wife called a 5-acre site near that intersection their home. And they shared that home with more than African lions. As the city, incorporated Nov.
For the next 20 years, El Monte was to experience a continuing influx of visitors who came from everywhere to see this "one and only" exhibit. Charles Gay, European by birth, were both former circus stars in their youth; he a "lion tamer" and she an aerialist. Their dream cam to fruition in the Lion Farm which they located in El Monte because of the availability of suitable acreage and the relative proximity to the film centers of Los Angeles.
Circus Vargas will be holding their annual event in the southwest parking lot area of Santa Anita Park. The event … Read more This farm, established inwas located in El Monte and was considered a most unique tourist attraction.
Lions lived in town back then. Leo the lion, who could be seen and heard at the start of a Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film, was a resident of the 5-acre farm. Charles and Muriel Gay were former circus performers who had the idea of raising wild animals to supply circuses, zoos and the movie industry.
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Their story began in London, where Charles was a star circus animal trainer and Muriel was a newspaper journalist. Soon after their marriage, Gay informed his bride that he had signed her up as a performer. Her co-stars would be leopards.
By Jennifer Newton for MailOnline. These incredible images show hundreds of lions being taught to perform tricks, pose for drawings and even sit down at dinner parties. Mr Gay had a long career working with the big cats and often trained the animals to work in the burgeoning movie industry.