Built on the abandoned 'Jungleland Zoo', we have revitalized this land to be a fun-filled experience for the whole family with food, beverages, live music and more! Read more about the history of the property below.
Knowing the history of the property, Krush Brau Park is all about giving back to the community and supporting animal charities. Please contact us if your organization would like to be included in our giving family.
“We can do no great things, only small things with great love.” – Mother Teresa
Back in the late 1970s, Alligatorland Safari Zoo opened and featured over 1600 exotic animals and birds. Proving that competition was tough, in 1982, Gatorland Zoo filed suit against Alligatorland for attempting to build a strikingly similar entryway to theirs that resembled a gator’s open jaws, which Gatorland had since the 1960s.
In 1990, Alligatorland Safari Zoo came under attack after they received a surprise inspection from the USDA and were charged with keeping inaccurate records, having poor sanitation and structural conditions in some of the cages, and having poor veterinary care for its animals. Darren Browning, the owner of Alligatorland, refused to acknowledge the USDA’s right to regulate his business, claiming the violations never existed or were quickly corrected and refused to pay a $1,500 fine. He characterized the fine as nothing more than a ploy by the USDA to punish them for refusing to erect a $20,000, 8-foot tall security fence to keep the wild animals from escaping.
Browning chose to fight the fine at a two-day USDA hearing in November 1992, representing himself because he said he knows as much about exotic animal care as USDA inspectors, and it would have cost too much to hire an attorney. After losing consequent battles in court against the USDA, the Browning’s sold the property in 1995.
Jungleland Zoo opened in 1995 and housed over 300 exotic animals, a large drop from Alligatorland which featured 1600 animals. The zoo was best known for its big cat shows which showcased different species of cats, from bobcats and lynxes to Bengal and Siberian tigers.
During the winter of 1997, days of rainfall flooded the swamp, making it a dangerous situation for the caged animals. On December 15, while handlers tried to raise the cage of their 450-pound lioness above flooded ground, it escaped into the marsh. A search for Nala, named after a character from “The Lion King”, was quickly initiated, ranging over the swamp along Hwy 192. Though wildlife agents were equipped with an infrared sensor attached to a helicopter and over 20 agents on the ground with tranquilizer guns and rifles, a canopy of lush vegetation and 4-foot-deep water, made it difficult to track her. Residents and tourists were put on alert, but Jungleland officials claimed that lioness was “hand-raised, declawed and very sociable”.
Finally, after two days, Nala was spotted just a few hundred yards from her cage at the zoo. Dr. James Barnett, a veterinarian, moved in but upon being spotted, Nala hissed and tried to hide under some bushes. Dr. Barnett fired two tranquilizer shots, missing with the first shot but finding its mark on the second. It took five minutes for Nala to become sedated, where Dr. Barnett injected her with more tranquilizer.
In late-2002, Jungleland Zoo removed its animals from public view and had set all their gift shop stock at 50% off. The owners claimed they were another victim to the post-9/11 economy, but the local Channel 6 News reported the zoo was being investigated by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the U.S. Department of Agriculture for possible violations of the Animal Welfare Act. A surprise inspection in June by state inspectors said the “facility is suffering from a severe drainage issue,” noting rotted cages and inadequate fence heights. The inspectors also reported that “the animals looked healthy.”
The property was purchased by Patrick Clancy, founder, and owner of Jungle Habitat Preserve, an exotic animal sanctuary that cares for unwanted animals due to lack of funds or other reasons. Unfortunately, further money was needed to repair and modernize the property. The property was foreclosed in 2017 and later sold again at the end of 2018 to Jungleland Zoo Partners, LLC.
In September 2020 Krush Acquisitions, a veteran owned company by Waylon and Katie Krush, purchased the property and will be revitalizing the former Jungleland Zoo to be a vibrant German-inspired beer garden. It will include a brewery, eateries, live music and attractions for families and kids alike like mini-golf, outdoor theater, playgrounds, and a train that circumferences the whole property.
Waylon Krush, a veteran of the US Army, was stationed at Bad Aibling, Germany for 3 years. He traveled throughout all of Germany during his service and fell in love with the different beers, bakery goods, and festivals each state had to offer, especially attending OktoberFest 3 years in a row. Ever since, it has been a dream of his to build a German-inspired beer garden to share with the American people.
Krush Brau Park will have a beautiful 9,000+ square foot main building along with several garden buildings to support food, beverage and entertainment. The facility and garden will be broken up into different German States based on the location where it will feature the flag, a local beer, and fun facts about the region/ state.
Krush Brau Park plans to open in Spring 2021.