NAUBINWAY, Mich. (WJMN) – All creatures great and small can be found along US-2 at the GarLyn Zoo Wildlife Park.

“It’s a small walk through zoo,” said Gary Moore, owner, GarLyn Zoo. “We feature both native and exotic animals. We have a tiger, grizzly bear, snow leopard, lemurs, alligators, reindeer, white-tailed deer. There is quite a variety.”

Gary Moore and his wife Lynn have been running the GarLyn Zoo since 1994.

“We’re from downstate by Marine City/St. Clair area,” said Moore. “My wife and I have had animals all of our lives. We wanted to move and decided on the U.P. Actually thought we were coming up here to buy a small motel or something and couldn’t see how we could make ends meet with that and there was no zoo over here so we just decided to make a zoo. We had sika deer, llama, pygmy goats, peacocks, pheasants.

Tourists come from all over to see these animals up close and personal.

“On a typical year, about 30,000 [people], during the two COVID years we had about 50,000 each year,” said Moore. “I’d say the bulk of the people are from Michigan, but then we get them from all over the place, even all over the world we’ve had people in.”

There is one special relationship you’ll probably see at only this zoo.

“Our first bear was Millie and she was as a cub, just a panicky little bear when we left her alone so we went to the dog pound and got a dog that didn’t, he was running out of options and we put him with Millie for a companion and they just hit it off,” said Moore. “Then the next year, we got another male bear and the three of them have lived together for eight years now.”

The GarLyn Zoo is currently open for the 2022 season, seven days a week from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. until August 31. In the fall, they are open 7 days a week from September 1 – October 16 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

“I think they’d be surprised at how much there is here and it’s in a natural setting, it’s not bulldozed and cement pathways,” said Moore. “It’s all cedar, mulch paths and big, mature pines. It’s like you’re outdoors with the animals.”

To plan your own visit to the GarLyn Zoo, click here.