Miami's Parrot Jungle and Gardens The Colorful History of an Uncommon Attraction (Paperback)
|Author: Cory H. Gittner|
|This series seeks to stimulate critical perspectives on diaspora processes in the New World. Representations of "race" and ethnicity, the origins and consequences of nationalism, migratory streams and the advent of transnationalism, the dialectics of "homelands" and diasporas, trade networks, gender relations in immigrant communities, the politics of displacement and exile, and the utilization of the past to serve the present are among the phenomena addressed by original, provocative research in disciplines such as anthropology, history, political science, and sociology.|
This colorfully illustrated book tells the story of one of Florida's oldest and most popular tourist attractions. Built in 1936 in a lush hardwood hammock near Miami, Parrot Jungle and Gardens has entertained, enthralled, and educated more than 15 million visitors, and is home to more than a thousand stunning macaws, mynah birds, cockatoos, parakeets, and peacocks.
Offering a glimpse into the tropical fantasy world that represented Florida tourism for postwar America, Parrot Jungle was one of hundreds of privately owned roadside attractions built during the thirties that featured Florida's natural splendor. Most have disappeared, making way for corporate-owned theme parks -- except for Parrot Jungle.
An Austrian immigrant, Franz Scherr, and his family opened the attraction with a dozen macaws and parrots and an assortment of raccoons, opossums, and land crabs. It has survived a world war, gas shortages, devastating hurricanes, rampant development, bird robberies, and a change in ownership -- all while displaying several hundred species of subtropical birds which fascinate visitors with their intelligence, exoticbeauty, distinct personalities, and remarkable capacity to mimic human voices. Some have been with the attraction longer than any employee -- 50 years or more. Over the years, they appeared on television's Miami Vice, posed with Jackie Gleason, Winston Churchill, and Miss America, and stole the show at the Florida exhibit at the 1964 World's Fair.
Miami's Parrot Jungle and Gardens traces the history of a pioneer attraction from the golden age of "Mom and Pop" tourism, an enduring South Florida institution that will continue to draw appreciative crowds for decades to come.