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"I own an island. Off the coast of Costa Rica. I leased it from the government and spent the last five years setting up a kind of biological preserve down there. Really spectacular. Spared no expense. It makes the one I had in Kenya look like a petting zoo."

— John Hammond, Jurassic Park (emphasis mine)

When John Hammond meets Dr. Ellie Sattler and Dr. Alan Grant, he lets slip that he had owned a preserve in Kenya.

Is there any information as to the nature of this preserve? Not from the film, obviously, but perhaps from the book or from other materials.

2 Answers 2

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This is addressed in the 'timeline' feature on the viral Masrani Global website, produced to market Jurassic World. By selecting the year '1969', we learn that this was the year that John Hammond opened his "Animal Kingdom" in Nairobi, Kenya.

This pre-dates his 1975 creation of InGen, and is hence likely to be a fairly mundane preserve with lions and elephants and such.

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  • This is basically stating the same thing as scifi.stackexchange.com/a/208231/47234, but porting more information from the wiki into the answer.
    – muru
    Commented Sep 19, 2023 at 6:24
  • @Muru - The wiki is a poor source, with no explanation where the info comes from.
    – Valorum
    Commented Sep 19, 2023 at 6:38
  • Of course, but when reposting the same thing 4 years down the line, I'd think it polite to leave a hat-tip to that answer.
    – muru
    Commented Sep 19, 2023 at 6:40
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    @muru - No, sorry, but copying and pasting info over from a wiki into the answer box does not earn you the metaphorical nod. I gave them a prod at the time to post a better answer
    – Valorum
    Commented Sep 19, 2023 at 6:43
  • @Valorum fun to see that the site is still operational too!
    – Skooba
    Commented Sep 19, 2023 at 13:44
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I don't think it's a reference to the book as Hammond's background deviated from the books. The movie seems to be implying he's some rich eccentric into making biological preserves, and Jurassic Park was his ultimate biological preserve. In the book he was characterized as much more of a ruthless business man that at some point got into cloning and genetics.

As an example of how different the two characterizations are, book Hammond would carry around a tiny elephant in a cage to convince investors of the miracles his people could perform so that they would want to invest. This was done without regard to things like his exaggerations as to the level of technology used to create the tiny elephant, and the fact that the elephant(s) turned out to be very sickly, and it had to be regularly (and secretly) replaced with a new animal when the previous one inevitably died a very premature death.

The one relevant detail is that the Kenyan biological preserve provides a minimum backstory for Muldoon, who was supposed to be from Kenya. The likely implication is that it was a similar tourist attraction featuring dangerous but totally natural African animals, and that Muldoon performed a similar job function there of managing the dangerous animals. Hammond then decided to use Muldoon's expertise for his new dinosaur park.

In the book, Muldoon was from Nairobi, and probably hired by Hammond due to his reputation as a consultant for wildlife preserves rather than due to having worked with him before.

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    Being from Nairobi is perforce being from Kenya.
    – user888379
    Commented Mar 31, 2019 at 17:44

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