The Schulz Family Legacy

The year was 1898. The beginning of the Schulz family involvement in the animal business in Africa with Kifaru owner Jurgen Schulz’s grandparents, Christopher and Elizabeth Schulz.

For it was this year that Christoph Schulz quit his maritime services and began his animal career by bringing home to Germany, chimps, monkeys and parrots from many West African ports. He started collecting African fauna with great success.

Christoph brought family chimps, Max and Moritz  to Hamburg, West Germany  where they were trained by Rueben Casting, a young Englishman, who became the world’s most famous chimp trainer.

During 1910, Christoph started the first Big Game Ranch in all of Africa. Elizabeth, his spouse and financial manager, began to travel with him in 1912. She traveled through the bush and on the ships to care for the animals.

Chrisotph Schulz was the first European to see and own a pygmy hippo. In those years, the pygmy hippo was unknown to science.  Christoph Captured 24 hippos on the Rfidji River in 1911. These were the forefather’s of today’s zoo hippos. Christoph jokingly called himself, “The Father of all Hippos.”

The largest consignment of African Wildlife during that time was shipped to the Stelling Hamburg Zoo in 1912. At this zoo, one could enjoy the scenes of the African veldt.

In 1920, World War I prevented all collection of wildlife. Christoph Schulz’s Big Game Ranch was taken from him during the war.

After World War I, Christoph and his family got a new start in South Africa. Large consignments of animals were shipped to the U.S. and Europe.

In 1925, Christoph and Elizabeth returned to Tangyanika to build a new Big Game Ranch in the Northern Meru Mountain District, Arusha.

Through the years Christoph led many hunting expeditions, among the most famous was the Getz Expedition of 1929. During this expedition many game records were set.

From 1928 to1934, Christoph and Elizabeth supplied African Game to Indian Marahajas, supplied the first African animals to Dehewala Zoo in Columbia, Celyon, and exported to America, Europe and Australia. Big shipments went to Frankfurt and other German Zoos,  Amsterdam, Antwerp, Budapest and Rome.

In 1924, the greatest consignment of animals ever known of that time went to the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago, Illinois. Parents of the first two captive-bred rhinos were in this shipment.

1935 and 1936 brought the opening of the African veldt scenes in Cincinnati, St. Louis and Detroit. The first giraffes and rhinos were sent to the Torongo Zoo in Sydney, Australia.

In 1937, the year Kifaru Exotics owner, Jurgen Schulz was born, Christoph and Elizabeth retired to travel the world over to visit zoo friends they had made throughout their life and turned over management of the family business to their only son, Walter Christoph Schulz.

World War II began in 1939, and once again all animal trade was stopped. Years later, after the war, Christoph ended up returning to the business he loved so much. Contacts were once again made with American and Australian zoos. He and his family traveled to Angola, South Africa and Southwest Africa (now Namibia).

During 1952, Christoph was responsible for many animal exhibitions throughout the world.

Christoph Schulz went kangaroo hunting in Australia to celebrate his 80th birthday. At age 83, Christoph accompanied a big consignment of animals to Europe. A few months later he passed on.

Walter Schulz was born March 11, 1905, in Hamburg, Germany. He traveled with his parents as a nine year old to Africa.

At the beginning of World War I, the Schulz family landed in Somaliland unable to reach their Big Game Ranch in Arusha.

As a youngster, Walter bottled gerenuk (giraffe gazelles) babies and other animals.

He spent 1923 and 1924 with his father in South Africa and Rhodesia capturing giraffe, sable, white-tailed gnu, blesbok, springbok, zebras, elephants, and rhinos.He accompanied three large consignments of animals to Europe.

Walter and his family returned to Tanganyika (now known as Tanzania), East Africa, to build a new Big Game Ranch.

From 1925 through 1939, Walter captured rhinos, giraffe, all species of antelope, carnivores and smaller game.

Walter assisted his parents in bringing the largest consignment of African mammals to the Brookfield Zoo, Chicago, Illinois in 1934. Walter also helped supply the African veldt scenes at St Louis, Detroit and Cincinnati Zoos.

In 1937, Walter took over the management of the family business while his parents traveled. During this time a big shipment of animals went to Europe. The consignment included six giant forest hogs, giraffe, and other animals for the Warsau Zoo.

The outbreak of the second World War made animal business impossible. The Big Game Ranch in East Africa was lost.

In 1948, Walter returned to Angola and Southwest Africa to capture and ship African fauna.

Walter opened Zoopark Okahandja during 1954. The Schulz family supplied game and wild animals all over the world. They captured elephants, black rhino, giraffe, Hartmann Mountain Zebras and other game in South Western Africa.

Walter sent more consignments to Europe and assisted with animal exhibitions. He transported 32 wild, white rhinos from Natal the  various National Parks of Rhodesia.

The Manila Zoo opened in 1959 with African fauna supplied by Walter and those donated to the zoo by him.

1969 brought the opening of the Senne Game Park in Bielfeld Germany. The Schulzs provided 12 elephants, cheetahs, antelopes, buffalo, ostriches and other animals.

This year a large consignment of animals went to the Santo Domingo Zoo in the Dominican Republic for its opening. In 1979, Walter retired.

Current Kifaru owner Jurgen Schulz was born in 1937 in Germany and traveled frequently between Europe and Africa as an infant. Throughout the years,he accompanied his parents on many consignments learning how to care for exotic animals.

In 1948, the family moved to Angola where they also captured animals. There Jurgen was responsible for the small game on the family’s compound.

In 1951, the Schulz family moved to East London, South Africa where Jurgen’s grandfather owned a farm. Jurgen attended college and cared for the many wild and domestic animals on the farm. After completing school, Jurgen traveled to Southwest Africa, now Namibia, where his father founded Zoopark Okahandja.

This was the center of animal capture in that part of Africa. It is also where Jurgen began capturing game on his own. Jurgen learned techniques to successfully capture giraffe, zebras, antelopes, rhinos and carnivores.

In the years that followed, Jurgen was capturing animals in other parts of Africa such as Rhodesia (now known as Zimbabwe), Zambia and Botswana. He also supervised the breeding of brown hyenas, cape hunting dogs, and cheetahs at the Zoopark.

In the early years as Hollywood made its way to the African continent it was only natural that Jurgen and his brother, Uwe, be involved in film making. One of the most  well known movies involving the Schulz brothers, the animals and scenes provided by them was “Sands of the Kalahari”. There were many others as well.

The film crew of the well known television series “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom” were placed under the care and guidance of Jurgen while filming in Africa. The “Mutual of Omaha” African shows were actual capture scenes of Jurgen’s projects. During these days, Jurgen became friends with Mutual’s star, Jim Fowler. In later years, the two opened a zoo together near Washington D.C.

While in Africa, Jurgen constructed and maintained a large cheetah camp and also took large consignments of animals to Europe and the USA every year. Hunting was as much necessity in these years as sport, for Jurgen hunted to feed his capture and work crews during their many years in the bush. Inland and Coastal quarantine stations were constructed to comply with local and international veterinary regulations. Jurgen operated quarantine stations and constructed crates for animal export.

In the late 1960’s, Jurgen organized an expedition to Ethiopia for the capture of Somali Wild Asses. This expedition was one of only two such successful captures ever of these animals.

1n 1975, Jurgen Schulz formed J.C. Schulz, Inc. The Schulz Company is known for shipping animals to zoos and private individuals all over the globe. Some of the many animals include sable, roan, nyala, bontbok, cape hartebeest, white tailed gnu, black rhino, white rhino, mountain zebras, Somali wild ass, camels, cheetahs, brown hyenas, cape hunting dogs, giraffe, elephants and others.

In the 1980’s Schulz purchased the Catskill Game Farm in Catskill, New York and founded a company called Camelids of Delaware who imported llamas and alpacas from Bolivia, Chile and Peru; Poitou Donkeys from France, and Boer goats from New Zealand and South Africa.

In 1992 Schulz moved to Texas and soon thereafter purchased the Kifaru Exotic Animal Auction where the Schulz Family Legacy continues today.

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