Who knew that holding an albino alligator at the local fair at the age of 10 would be the start of a beautiful and wonderful relationship that will last a lifetime. While most 14-year-old girls are chasing boys and hanging out at the mall, Emily, an Atlanta, Georgia teen with high-functioning autism (Aspergers), is out getting up, close, and personal, with the wild.

Emily has her own special pets at home; a Dachshund named Silver Mist, a cat named Patches, a green-cheeked conure names Willow, 2 parakeets named Gidget & Hope and a 75-gallon salt water aquarium full of fish. Emily’s dog, Silver Mist developed intervertebral disc disease and starting to lose use of her legs and had to have an emergency surgery on her back. The Veterinarian told Emily that Silver Mist would need months of recovery and rehab and even then may not be able to walk again. Emily gave all of her attention and love to Silver Mist and within three days her dog was walking again. Silver Mist is doing wonderful and still goes on vacations with the family. She especially loves family trips to Myrtle Beach where she can walk and play on the beach.

Emily’s love extends far beyond the reaches of her home. Horseback riding and working as a volunteer JR. Zookeeper at the local zoo is just a few of the activities that Emily enjoys in her free time. Some other more unique activities that Emily has been able to experience has been feeding a tiger, holding a sloth, swimming with sea turtles and even interacting with wolves.

Emily and her family enjoy spending time in nature, whether it is a day trip out kayaking on the lake or vacationing to the nearest zoo or exotic animal & wildlife reserve. Some of the locations that Emily has visited include the San Diego Zoo, Monkey Mountain in Japan, Grand Cayman’s Stingray City, and Flamingo Beach in Aruba. Emily and her family share her experiences and goes into more details in her blog about these visits, including reviews and history of each zoo and the special animal encounters that Emily had.

Emily’s dream is to work with animals full-time when she gets older. Keep your eye’s open, maybe one day there will be Emily’s Wild & Exotic Animal Reserve so other’s can experience such awesome adventures as well!

We hope you visit Emily’s Wild and Exotic Animal Adventures blog often and that kids and teenagers become inspired to learn more about animals and nature. Please feel free to write comments or ask questions on the blog.