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Friday September 19, 2014
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Kangaroos on Ann Arbor-Saline Rd.

 

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The public is welcome to tour the outdoor Wild Life Park and visit a wide variety of domestic and exotic animals at no charge, though donations are welcome. Behind-the-scene tours of the entire campus are available for a modest fee.

The Creature Conservancy's mission, Steve says, is "to work within our community to create personal connections between people, animals, and their shared environment. It's easy for people to kill one another because they demonize [each other]. We can easily do the same with animals, but when we personalize animals and teach people that they have homes, social drives, purposes, and communities just like them, it opens them up to saving animals and the planet."

A self-described introvert, Steve nonetheless serves as the conservancy's public face. His passion for its mission helps get him through presentations--but he couldn't do it without the support of the animals themselves. "I'm really not much of a people person," he says. "I can comfortably talk in front of ten thousand people if I'm holding an armadillo. If I'm not holding an armadillo, I don't want to be there."

The Creature Conservancy has relationships with multiple zoos, including a close one with the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, as well as animal rescues and other animal-related organizations. Steve has appeared with Jack Hanna on the David Letterman show; Peter and Piper, the coyote pups he brought along, howled in his hotel room, mistaking the sound of Manhattan traffic for their welcoming siblings.

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