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      Life is literally a zoo for local couple

      Lions, tigers, bears, and camels are just a few of the exotic animals you'll find at the DeYoung Family Zoo.

      The zoo was started by Bud DeYoung 26 years ago, almost by accident.

      "Rescue is how I started out," said DeYoung. "Then I started having some people over to visit my place which was not a zoo then."

      DeYoung applied for a federal license and the DeYoung Family Zoo was born. Now he runs it with his fiance Carrie Cramer, year-round.

      The zoo, sprawled across the backyard and into the house of Bud and Carrie, features a wide variety of animals from across the world. The couple takes care of all the animals and hopes to continue growing.

      "We've obtained so many new animals from all over the world, like a hippopotamus obviously, this year," DeYoung said. "Also a chimpanzee this last year in 2010, and we're just ever growing. There's no end to it. We'll be doing this forever."

      Something that makes the zoo even more unique is relationships Bud and Carrie build with the animals, something that caught the attention of National Geographic. The company's cable channel, Nat Geo Wild, is airing a reality series about the zoo and what goes into running it.

      "To have this opportunity to be on an international channel and really make a difference with animals in the world in captivity and in the wild, it's a dream come true," said Cramer. "I mean both Buddy and I never thought this would happen, and we plan to take full advantage of it."

      You can see all the daily happenings at the DeYoung Family Zoo on the show ~My Life is a Zoo with Bud and Carrie TM on Nat Geo Wild at 9 p.m. central, Monday.