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In spring of 1974, two year-old Zamba the lion paid a visit to the Broadway Plaza Fountain while on tour with the Circus Vargas, extending a friendly paw to his handler, Ron Whitfield. Whitfield was a well known trainer of big cats at the time, and Zamba was the first African cat he rescued and affectionately cared for. 


The circus held a three day-long carnival along Broadway Plaza where 150 different animals, large and small, performed at downtown’s new “pedestrian mall” in an effort to revitalize the city’s core after the new Tacoma Mall had lured retailers and crowds away from the thriving shopping scene in Downtown Tacoma.

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