We’re used to hearing about wolves and bears in the U.P, but not tigers, African lions and camels.
Garlyn Zoo on U.S.2 in the Upper Peninsula is a roadside stop you won’t want to miss with some very unexpected friends you’re about to meet in this week’s Hometown Tourist.
“We were just tired of everything downstate and decided to move up to the U.P. We just decided to start a zoo,” said Gary Moore, Owner.
Gary and his family have raised and bottle fed cougars, lions, tigers, bears and more, but most importantly they have developed a family-like bond with these gentle giants.
This cougar named Max lights up each time he sees Gary.
“We try to bottle raise a lot of the animals we get so that they’re people friendly and then we keep up that bond, our male tiger is 4-years-old so I still give him a bottle every morning it keeps that bond.
“The African lions we still give bottles to they’re about eight months old now. We don’t push our luck after a certain age or size, we’ll still have the interaction through the fence,” said Gary.
Peacocks and ducks all wander free here, and you can feed some of them.
But what you won’t want to miss the animals that have the most unlikely of friendships, like Milly, Dutch and King, two grizzlies and a dog who live and play together.
“Milly is kind of a panicky little bear and every time we would leave her she would scream and pace and so my daughter talked to a couple other zoos and they said to go to the dog pound and get her a companion. So we went and got King. He couldn’t be placed, he’s so high strung, nobody wanted him and they’ve been together three years now,” noted Moore.
“The buffalo and donkey have been friends for all of the buffalo’s life. So they’ve been together for 14 years,” said Gary.
Catch a camel lapping up water, feed some goats and see a baby arctic fox. One thing is sure here, it’s an up close adventure and experience for the senses.
“I’ve had animals all my life and I just enjoy animals, like raising the little ones it’s rewarding,” said Gary.