Goebel was born in Buffalo, New York in 1896. In 1919 he moved to California and worked at Gay's Lion Farm. The following year, he got a job at Universal Pictures and he lived on the grounds. When the studio closed down its zoo. Goebel bought six of the lions (Andy, Min, Bill, Momma and Little Caesar) and moved to Thousand Oaks.
In 1945, Goebel sold his animal compound to Trader Horne, a Kansas City animal importer-exporter, and Billy Richards. They renamed it the World Jungle Compound and in 1956 they sold it to 20th Century Fox. It was again renamed, this time Jungleland.
When the group defaulted, Goebel reacquired the property in 1961. But money problems plagued the family for years, and eventually Jungleland closed its doors for good.