Michigan’s Original Animal Lover Passes Away
A Native Detroiter who shared his love of animals with kids through their T.V. sets has passed away. According to the Detroit Free Press, Don Hunt, known on T.V. as "B'Wana Don in Jungle-La" has died at the age of 84.
B'Wana Don and his trusty pet monkey Bongo Bailey spent the first three years of the 60's teaching children about exotic animals and domestic pet care on Channel 2 (WJBK-TV) before his show went into syndication. During the run of his syndicated product, the former pet store owner, who first appeared with Soupy Sales on Detroit TV to promote his business, B'wana Don was sent to Africa for filming. The affinity that he gained for Africa led him to move permanently there. In Kenya, he established a large, 1,000+ acre game preserve. And, with Hunt's inspiration, his actor friend William Holden set up the Mount Kenya Wildlife Conservancy, another preserve that is more than 1,200 acres.
Read this great write-up and obituary on Don Hunt from the Detroit Free Press, chock full of memories of "B'Wana Don InJungle-La", and insight about the exciting life of Michigan's original animal lover.
Here's a YouTube video posted by Michael Collins that gives us a look at B'Wana Don and Bongo Bailey in action!