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Animal Rescue in Lake City Invites You to See Exotic Animals Up Close

An exotic zoo is springing up in Lake City, and it all grew from a woman’s passion for helping exotic animals and her husband’s undying support.

April and Ryan Cicchelli knew there was a problem with re-homing exotic animals in Northern Michigan, so they answered the call and gave these animals a forever home.

“There’s a lot of animals out there that I’m not able to help,” April says. “So every heartbreak is worth it when you do get to save one of the exotics or one of the rescues.”

At Cicchelli Second Chance Rescue and Exotics, you have the chance to see several different unique animals up close.

“A lot of folks re-home foxes, they don’t realize the smell, the effort and work that goes into individual foxes,” April says.

They also have miniature ponies, lemurs and a monkey!

Rocco was bought by an elderly woman as a baby, but when Rocco got older she realized that a lemur was too much to handle.

Ryan Cicchelli said, “You’re able to purchase these animals in the state of Michigan, but they can’t cross boarders, between states, but she purchased it, had it for a year, and didn’t realize that the animals get a little bit aggressive as time goes on and then didn’t realize the attention they needed.”

April and Ryan started rescuing exotic animals a few years ago. Now their hobby has grown into more of a job as more animals are in need of a home.

“It’s grown into something where it does cost to build more enclosures to continue to do the rescues,” Ryan says. “A lot of time goes into this, and this is just for the comfort of the animal; to make sure they’re happy.”

Animals that originally needed a home are now part of a family.

“When you get to that point of an animal trusting you and showing how much effort you put into that relationship to build with them, it’s really rewarding to have that feeling,” April says.

You can visit the Cicchelli Second Chance Rescue and Exotics by appointment. They hope to have a public attraction soon.