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Mary Chipperfield

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Name  Mary Chipperfield

Mary Chipperfield Burguscircus Dcs de Mary Chipperfield

Mary chipperfield animal trainer aka woman animal trainer 1964

Mary Chipperfield (1938–2014) was a 1970s British circus entertainer who specialised in a chimpanzee act. She was also known as an animal trainer, providing numerous animals for various BBC productions and the 1967 movie Doctor Dolittle.


Mary Chipperfield A friend of the Circus Mary Chipperfields Tigers Knie 1993

Dogsis at mary chipperfield circus 1974


Mary Chipperfield Chipperfield39s Stop Circus Suffering

She was born in a circus caravan in Kentish Town, London. Her father was Jimmy Chipperfield and his wife Rose (née Purchase; 1912–2006). The Purchase family had a long history of travelling menageries, and Rose had a lion act herself. The two shows amalgamated about two years after the couple married (around 1930). Chipperfield's Circus was managed by Jimmy's father at the time and control later passed to his older brother.

Early career

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In 1955 her father broke away from the family circus and, after a brief spell at farming and managing other shows, he and Mary began providing animals for film work.

Southampton Zoo

Mary Chipperfield Mary Chipperfield Animal Trainer Aka Woman Animal

In 1961 Jimmy founded Southampton Zoological Gardens on Southampton Common and Mary used this as a base for taming a variety of wild animals for roles in films and Chipperfield's Circus.


In the 1960s her father began to develop drive-through safari parks. Mary and her husband Richard Cawley were actively involved in the creation of the Longleat Safari Park. Mary wrote about its creation and first year of public operation in Lions on the Lawn (1971).

Christmas shows in the 1970s

Just as the BBC showed Billy Smart's Circus shows on Christmas Day for several years during the 1970s, ITV would show Chipperfield's Circus in competition. This brought Mary even more into the public eye and she was featured in magazine articles and features such as a photospread in Princess Tina Annual 1971.

Conviction for animal cruelty

In 1999, Mary Chipperfield was accused of cruel treatment of some animals in her circus. In April 1998 a infant chimpanzee named Trudy had been seized by police and taken to the 'Monkey World' sanctuary after being repeatedly kicked, beaten and made to sleep in a tiny box. Chipperfield was found guilty of twelve counts of cruelty to animals and fined £8,500.


Mary Chipperfield Wikipedia