Louis Goebel arrived in California in 1919 and began work at Gay's Lion Farm where he was employed in the butchering of animal carcasses for food for the lions. When the lion farm was moved from Hollywood to El Monte, Goebel did not follow. Instead, he obtained work with the animals at Universal Studios, where he plied his trade as meat cutter, feeder, and grounds keeper until 1926. That year, Carl Laemmele, the owner of the studio, decided to dispose of the zoo. Goebel purchased six of the lions: Andy, Min, Bill, Momma, Poppa, and Little Caesar.
He was unable to find land in Los Angeles County where he could board the lions, but he was able to obtain cheap land in Thousand Oaks where he built his lion farm. The property eventually amounted to 170 acres.
Leo, the MGM lion, was a resident at the farm as well as many other of the studio animal actors, including elephants, zebras, and water buffalo.
In 1946, the farm was sold to Trader Horne and Billy Richards. In 1955, James Ruman and Sid Rogel purchased the property. Within five years, the property reverted back to Goebel through foreclosure. He then entered into an agreement with Heinz and Ruhe to operate Jungleland, the new name for the facility.