Frank M. Thompson
Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens
Frank Thompson ran away from home to join the circus. He began his career working for the circus as a drummer in the orchestra. He enjoyed being around animals and in particular, he found that the training of animals interested him a great deal. He trained bears, horses and elephants and eventually became an animal dealer and got to know a few zoo directors. One director from Forth Worth, Texas bought a tapirs and hired Frank to come and work at the zoo as general curator. He stayed for a few years but then moved his family to Evansville, Indiana and became the Director at the Mesker Park Zoo. After a short stint, Frank moved to Florida and worked as an animal dealer again, bringing animals to zoos all over the United States. He began working as Director for the Jacksonville Zoo. It was his intention to run a clean and healthy zoo – the zoo is now thriving and growing.