Skip to Main Content

Venice, Florida: Animal Trainer Statue

"Greatest Animal Trainer of all Time" according to the plaque on the base of this eight-foot-tall bronze statue clad in a ridiculous costume. Gunther Gebel-Williams wintered in town and died in 2001. PETA tried and failed to add an adjacent statue of an elephant in shackles.

303 E. Venice Ave., Venice, FL
Park in the lot at the north end of Seaboard Ave., then walk along the road just a little further north. The statue is in a small grove of trees on the left.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Visitor Tips and News About Animal Trainer Statue

Reports and tips from visitors and Roadside America mobile tipsters. Some tips may not be verified. Submit your own tip.

Gunther Gebel-Williams statue.

Lord of the Rings Lion Trainer Statue

The statue of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus star is located at the 1927 Venice Train Depot, which is home to the historical society. Other things to see: Louisville and Nashville 6445 caboose, and Venice's train-themed playground.

[Craig Sutton, 10/09/2019]

The circus showman statue is in one of its traditional wintering capitals. According to the accompanying plaque, Gunther Gebel-Williams is "universally known as the Greatest Wild Animal Trainer of All Time." The "Lord of the Rings" made his U.S. debut in 1969 and performed in over 12,000 consecutive shows. Gebel-Williams lived with his family in Venice, Florida, and died in 2001.

Nearby Offbeat Places

Shark Tooth Capital of the WorldShark Tooth Capital of the World, Venice, FL - 3 mi.
Tervis Tumbler - 2-stories tallTervis Tumbler - 2-stories tall, North Venice, FL - 4 mi.
Warm Mineral Springs Motel: Populuxe StyleWarm Mineral Springs Motel: Populuxe Style, North Port, FL - 12 mi.
In the region:
Shell Factory, Fort Myers, FL - 43 mi.

Latest Tips Across Roadside America

Catch up on the latest discoveries from the road.

Explore Thousands of Oddball Tourist Attractions!

Unique destinations in the U.S. and Canada are our special obsession. Use our attraction recommendation and maps to plan your next road trip.

My Sights

My Sights on Roadside America

Create and Save Your Own Crazy Road Trip! ...Try My Sights

Mobile Apps

Roadside America app: iPhone, iPad Roadside America app for iPhone, iPad. On-route maps, 1,000s of photos, special research targets! ...More

Roadside Presidents app: iPhone, iPad Roadside Presidents app for iPhone, iPad. POTUS landmarks, oddities. ...More

Florida Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

Pizza Hut Museum, Wichita, Kansas (Nov 27-Dec 3, 2023)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings