Daily Archives: May 4, 2018

My Life Is A Zoo . . .

Since Nat Geo Wild has been rerunning ‘My Life Is A Zoo’ and we visited there in 2011, AND we didn’t get home from our concert until midnight, I thought I’d rerun the blog of our visit, especially we have a lot of new readers who weren’t with us 7 years ago.

The DeYoung Family Zoo . . .

When I went to bed last night I still didn’t know if we were going to make the trip this morning up to Wallace, MI about 100 miles away, to visit the DeYoung Family Zoo.

The weather was showing a 60% chance of thunderstorms last night, but it was supposed to be clear on Monday. So we could wait til then if necessary.

But when I checked it about 5 am, it was down to 50% chance, and by 8 it was 40%. So we decided to give it go since it looked like things were improving. And it turned out to be a beautiful day, lucky for us.

We headed out a little after 9, stopping in Shawano for Egg Muffins and coffee, and then gas. We got to the park about 11:30, and it was all we hoped it would be.

The DeYoung Family Zoo is owned by Bud and Carrie DeYoung, and has been featured for several years on the Nat Geo Wild channel asMy Life is a Zoo”.

Since we love small zoos and animal parks, it has been on our bucket list for a couple of years.

Just this year along we’ve visited places like Bearizona in Williams, AZ, Out of Africa in Camp Verde, AZ, Cat Tales Zoological Park north of Spokane, WA, and the Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch between Tucson and Phoenix, AZ.

One of the first things we encountered was the petting zoo area where Jan tried her hand at feeding the goats.

Jan Feeding Goat

They had a real mix of animals in this area, including alpacas,

Petting Zoo 5

and a zhorse, or zorse, a zebra/horse cross.


First off, you have no idea how hard I resisted saying something about “Lions, and Tigers, and Bears.”

Oh, wait. I just did. Sorry.

They have a little bit of everything here. I’m really just hitting some of the highlights.

One thing we both liked at this zoo was the fact that it wasn’t just all sterile concrete and moats. The animal’s habitats were large and natural-looking, like this grizzly cage.

Grizzlie Bear 1

They have over 400 animals here, and most of them are rescues of one sort or another, including these two beautiful cats.

Two Tigers

White Tiger 2

A little while after we got there it was feeding time for the meat eaters. Here’s Bud flinging a chunk of cow over the fence to the waiting White Tiger below.

Bud Feeding Tiger

Although I could never get a picture of it, when the meat is thrown over the fence, the tigers leap up about 10 feet and catch it in mid-air.

Carrie said they go through three cows a DAY to feed the animals.

Tiger Eating

Tiger Eating 1

Tiger on the Run 1

Lion 1

They have a new baby hippo who’s in a temporary facility,

Baby Hippo

until her new pool is ready. Very nice.

Baby Hippo New Home

Here’s Carrie in the cage and talking about the different breeds of wolves they have.

Carrie 1

Wolves 4

These are Dingos, the Australian wild dogs, of “The Dingo Ate My Baby” fame, although these are like pets, and kids were hand-feeding them dog biscuits from the box.


This mother hyena is taking her cub back to the den after it got too close to the fence and the crowd of people around.

Mommy Hyena

Besides the baby hippo, there were a lot of other, smaller babies that we could pet, hold, or feed.

This is a baby Wallaby, a type of kangaroo.

Baby Wallaby

And here’s a very young monkey being feed by a little girl.

Baby Monkey

And here’s a Stripped Hyena, one of Carrie’s favorites, who really likes to be held and cuddled.

Baby Hyena

Bud came out with these two somewhat older baby monkeys that really entertained the crowd with their antics.

Bud and Baby Monkeys

The last area we visited was the reptile exhibit with this Monitor Lizard just hanging out.

Monitor Lizard

Bud and Carrie have really put a lot of work into this place and it shows.

Carrie and Bud

As I said, I just skimmed the surface of what there is to see here. Check it out if you’re in the area.

We left the park about 2:30 and headed home, stopping for dinner at the Cottage Diner in Cecil, WI, about 25 miles from the rig.

We got back about 5:45 and settled in for the night. Tomorrow we’ll head south about 200 miles to Janesville, WI for one night, then Normal, IL for one night, before ending up in Vandalia, IL at Jan’s sister’s house on Wednesday for our family reunion. Brandi, Lowell, and Landon will be in on Thursday.

We can’t wait.

Thought for the Day: 

Too Tired to Think.


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