I was hired as a manager at B & I Circus Store in 1964

I was there to welcome Ivan and Burma when they arrived. They lived with the Johnson family who brought them to the store daily. They were amazing little guys. Burma got ill and didn’t survive after several months of degrading illness. The Johnson’s and I took the little guys on promotional trips to Seattle.

One trip we took them to KVI Radio for an interview and I was able to surprise my mother with a home visit. A visit she never forgot. She wasn’t expecting the baby gorillas. She talked about that often the remainder of her life.


It was a rare and wonderful experience to have such a close relationship with such beautiful and loving animals.Click To Tweet


I followed the history of Ivan over the years and was saddened by his passing.

by Thomas L Chaussee

Leave a Comment