On the way to Zoosiana I was told we'd be spending a few hours with the owner of the zoo. Owner of a zoo? A private citizen can own a zoo? That can't be right. But, oh, it is! George Oldenburg is the owner and director of Zoosiana and if there's one person I've ever met who loves animals, it's George.
As George escorted me from exhibit to exhibit he spoke to the animals -- sometimes they even talked back. They appear to wait for him and view him as a friend when he approaches their respective enclosures.
Going beyond the barricades of the displays while chatting with George I experienced his true affection for the animals -- and they for him. In fact, one of his giraffe friends decided to come say hi as we were talking.
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As George showed us around the zoo, he was constantly stopping to mingle with guests and introduced them to the animals on display, offering up tidbits of information to educate everyone. Zoosiana is home to upwards of 750 animals and while I didn't get a chance to meet all, George had a story for each. I learned very quickly that each one of them has a name!
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George said I'd feed a tiger. I was a little unsure about that happening. (Come on, wouldn't you be?)
When I saw that I would be using a baby bottle I figured it had to be, well, a baby tiger. Not necessarily. This four-year-old beauty wasn't looking for a meaty meal. She just wanted some milk. Click to the next page to see the wild encounter.