There’s a reason why Mike Holston, a zookeeper from Miami, Florida, calls himself “The Real Tarzann,” and “King Of The Jungle.” But Beastmaster would be way more appropriate given that he has a love for animals, and the animals appear to love him back. He’s not afraid to hold or to hang out with anything from poisonous snakes to toothy tigers. Now, using his YouTube and Instagram, he educates people on how awesome animals are, and in the process, he shares with us how these animals guided him through life, just like Tarzan, which of course, he spells with two “Ns” at the end.As a child, he always dreamed of either own or working with a white lion, and he never stopped dreaming until he actually got his wish as a zookeeper in Miami, Florida, where he gets to show this white lion some love.
In the classic Tarzan films, the character had a chimp named Cheetah. Looks like Holston has his own Cheetah in this chimp, and the two love to goof off. Holston even calls this chimp his little nephew. Aw, isn’t that cute?
A male panther chameleon can measure up to 20 inches long, while the female is half that size. And unlike the female, the male counterparts have brighter colors of blue, red, green, yellow, and orange, versus the female, which only offers old tan with a bit of pink or orange.
He considers that a greater power has placed these animals in his care so that he could love them and look after them for the rest of his days, and clearly, the animals are happy to have such an awesome human caretaker.
Take this marmoset primate, for example, whose head appears bigger than his body. It’s so cute, especially when it’s making funny faces like this one, that make you wonder what he saw that shocked him so much!
He’s so comfortable with these cubs, even though he’s outnumbered five to one. He doesn’t even mind that two of them seem to be nomming on his sneakers. Hopefully, the sneakers aren’t the appetizer for these toothy cubs.
My, my, Mr. Fox! What big ears you have! This is actually one of Holston’s favorite animals, a fennec fox, which is a small nocturnal animal often found in North Africa’s Sahara. The big ears help the fox overcome the intense heat.
Sloths love hanging upside down in the trees, and they’re particularly fond of the tropical rainforests in Central and South America. But they also don’t mind hanging out at zoos with an equally adorable guy like Holston.
The ZWF is the Zoological Wildlife Foundation, which raises awareness for wildlife conservation. It also holds rare species born in captivity, and cares for them, which parallels Holston’s mission to look after animals, endangered or otherwise.
Instead of gold chains around his neck, Holston prefers to have two or three snakes wrapped around his shoulders. Now that takes a lot of guts, and he reminds us of his idol, the late Steve Irwin, who also loved animals and was a huge risk taker.
Who needs to buy a hat or a baseball cap when you can go for a slick oversized iguana? This takes a lot of dedication, especially when you look at the size of that thing’s claws. Holston should have worn goggles.
Holston posted on his Instagram that jaguars once populated the southwestern part of the United States, before settlers came across them and started executing them on site. Now they’re practically extinct in North America, and endangered in South America.
Parting with these creatures at the end of the day can be difficult for him, so when he gets a chance to play “papa” or “uncle” he enjoys every moment. No wonder people are going “awww” when they look at his Insta-pics.
He calls this chimp his nephew, and claims that he’s the “perfect little human” trapped inside a chimp’s body. He’s also grateful that the chimp has the ability to make everyone he meets happy, including Holston himself.
According to Holston, they are adorable, but they require a lot of attention, and when they don’t get it they can get a little fussy. But as long as you keep them happy, they make a sound that’s so soothing. Awww!
This is a black throat monitor, a real-life and oh-so carnivorous dragon from Africa. And boy, do we give Holston credit for swapping spit with this humongous creature, who can grow up to 6 feet and weigh over 80 lbs.
Aside from living fearlessly, he also teaches people how easy it is to show animals some TLC. He also likes to poke fun by imitating the baby croc’s stoic facial expression for this jaw defying selfie inside a classroom.
If Holston has proven anything, it’s that animals, especially a baby cougar like this one, can be very docile and fun to be around. They also don’t mind taking selfies with humans, as long as they’ve known each other for a while, right? And he believes that like everything else in life, if you show kindness and love, you get some of that back.