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Noell’s Ark Gorilla Show at the Hemlock Fair in 1962

Ready With Open Arms at Hemlock Fair

Unknown Author - The Livonia Gazette

16 August 1962

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At left in this photo is Topey, a real live gorilla; her owner and trainer, Bob Noell, and Topey’s young friend, Tommy.

Want to wrestle a young ape and earn $5 for every second, up to four, he’s pinned to the mat? Noell’s Ark Gorilla Show, which includes the athletic events, is a feature of the Hemlock Fair.

Noell’s Ark Gorilla Show, with three chimpanzees, two baby orangutans and a pair of rare baby gorillas, is a feature of the Hemlock Fair this week, Aug. 14 through 18. The orangutans and gorillas are for display only, tame but not trained.

Local people are invited to wrestle or box with one or another of the apes carried with the show, says S. Day Jr. of the fair society. He adds that these bouts should provide plenty of entertainment for spectators plus possible profit for participants.

Contestants may decide whether they wish to box or wrestle, Trainer Noell says. No entry fee is paid by participants but spectators are charged an admission. The ape weighs 85 pounds and Noell states he will pay any contestant $5 a second for every second the animal’s shoulders are flat on the mat, limit four seconds or $20. For wrestling a larger ape, no longer in his prime, Noell says he will pay contestants $1 a minute, with a five-minute limit. Contestants are asked to sign up in advance so spectators may make sure they see their friends in this very athletic event.

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