About El Monte
El Monte ,CA was home to Gay's Lion Farm for years. Gay's Lion Farm was owned by Charles and Muriel Gay who came to California from France in 1914. The original farm consisted of three lions that Charles Gay trained for the motion picture industry that was getting its start at that time. In fact, one of his lions, named Leo, was the lion that represented the most famous movie making company at the time, MGM. As the farm grew so did the number of lions to include 200 lions before the farm was closed in 1942. Charles and Muriel Gay continued to travel with various circuses and use their lions to perform amazing many in the audience. The lions were also used in several Tarzan movies. The lions on the farm were also used to introduce new actors and actresses to the public in hopes of getting their starts. One such actress who had her photo taken at the farm was Greta Garbo. When a person is looking for pet supplies today, make sure to check the El Monte, CA yellow pages.
Gay's Lion Farm was a popular tourist attraction. Guests could arrive at the farm and have their photos made with the lions. This was a very popular attraction in the 1920s as photography was just becoming very popular. One weekend a year guests could also eat at the Lion Banquet. At this banquet guests could eat lion meat while one of the tamest lions was allowed to roam free. One guest at a banquet was Walt Disney. He was so impressed with the farm that he began dreaming of how he could make money using a similar format. From this he idea he started Adventureland, which eventually grew into the parks that are popular today. Today people who want to find unusual attractions should check the El Monte, CA business directory.The farm was eventually closed because they could no longer get enough horse meat which was what the lions ate on a regular basis. The lions were sent to zoos throughout the nation. The agreement with the zoos was that they would be returned to the Gay Lion Farm after the war. However, by the time the war was over Mr. Gay was too ill to take care of the animals and they remained at the various zoos.
Written by Lyndsey Morgan