Bud DeYoung

Since childhood, Bud DeYoung had a passion for animals. At the young age of eight, he brought kids home from school to see his little zoo. When Bud was fifteen, he traded the family beagle for a monkey. This was the beginning.

Today on his own property in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Bud runs a zoo that has been open to the public since 1988 and is featured in a television series called My Life Is a Zoo on Nat Geo WILD. Along with “Big Cat” Carrie, Bud cares for over two hundred happy critters, from Bengal tigers to arctic wolves to a very hungry hippo named Wallace. Together Bud and Carrie educate the public about animal conservation, battle harsh winters and blazing summers, and daily dole out love to the hundreds of animals in their care. Through Bud and Carrie’s daily sacrifice, animals find rescue, people are inspired, and Bud DeYoung and Carrie Cramer know the fulfillment of living and building upon their dreams.

You can visit Bud and Carrie at the DeYoung Family Zoo in Wallace, Michigan, and online at