Father Jungle Larry and Tim with llama.
A Lifelong Passion for Wildlife
In 1972 at the age of four with his father and older brother off on safari in
East Africa and his mother in the states overseeing zoo operations, Tim
Tetzlaff was already talking to zoo guests about his growing knowledge
of the animal kingdom. From that early age, Tim has continued to build
a life on communicating the wonders of the animal kingdom to others.
he had some great role models. His parents, Lawrence and Nancy Jane Tetzlaff, were well-known travelers and wildlife advocates who traveled the Midwest doing educational
presentations on wild animals and the need for conservation for groups
from school children to state Supreme Court Justices. By the time Tim
started speaking, he had audiences of up to a million each summer at the
Cedar Point theme park in Ohio as well as the guests to the more serene
garden environment in Naples, Florida.
||Tim with ring-tailed lemurs in 1995.
Education of a Lifetime
spent his youth working in the zoos. From preparing balanced diets to
watching how his father connected his audiences with nature, Tim
learned the hard work of caring for animals from reptiles to elephants and the importance of sharing a passion for wildlife. Tim
spent many summers on the trails and paths speaking with guests one-to-one about the animals and the issues affecting them in the wild. In
his late teens, Tim began caring for the big cats.
During the mid-1980s and again in the 90s, Tim took time away to attend
The Ohio State University where he received his degrees. During breaks
and in the intervening years, Tim returned to both zoos to do educational
presentations. After receiving his degree
in education, he returned to the Naples location where over the next two
years, he and his brother David collaborated on Safari
Canyon - the first and still only presentation of its kind in the
U.S. featuring living animals complemented by stunning wildlife footage
giving audiences an accurate understanding of the animals and the issues
affecting them in the wild.
Tim at Shira 1 Camp
on Mount Kilimanjaro
Conserving the Future
Today, Tim is on the board of the Madagascar
Fauna and Flora Group and serves as and advisor as well. He is also on the Executive Committee of the Zoo Conservation Outreach Group and has previously served on the Conservation Education Committee
as well as the Public Relations Committee and other ad hoc committees
as needed for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. He is also involved in local conservation issues.
A few summers ago, he enjoyed a thrilling trip to Namibia's northern Kalahari traveling and enjoying the hospitality of a former warden of Etosha National Park and his family.
He returns to the continent regularly as a host for classic East African Safaris. Tim was thrilled he finally got to see the sights his father and brother saw in 1972 when he had to stay back home. Experiencing the wonders of the Ngoronogoro Crater,the Serengeti, Mount Kenya, and the Maasai Mara and getting to know the people in those areas are blessings he treasures
Naples Zoo's departures to Africa sell out each year. Join Tim on the Zoo's next safari to Tanzania in August 2016.