An Unlikely Kangaroo Sanctuary in Southern Minnesota

By Tiffany Meier

Christian Lilienthal’s farm in Minnesota might seem like an average soybean farm, but it’s so much more.

As he opens the barn doors, lemurs, emus, dingoes, and parrots greet him.

But his favorite animals are probably the kangaroos.

Lilienthal introduces the kangaroos: “This is Skipper. And there’s Radar, Bindy, Rocky, Pebbles,” he told Fox News.

His company, Wild Things Zoo Attractions, primarily showcases these exotic animals in classrooms and county fairs.

However, Lilienthal has bigger dreams.

“There’s wonderful zoo facilities around the state. There’s wonderful museum and educational facilities around, but this one has to be different than that,” he said. “It has to have a new piece that people haven’t gotten a chance to explore yet.”

And so he came up with the idea for “Kangaroo Island.” Lilienthal wants to buy two uninhabited islands in Gaylord, Minnesota. There he would showcase the kangaroos, wallabies, emus, and caged parrots.

“I think it’s the type of thing that people just need to think about for a moment before they subscribe to a positive or negative opinion,” he said.

The islands are fifteen minutes away from the farm, on Lake Titlow.

“We’re really not hoping to change, effectively anything about the island itself, just bringing opportunity there,” he said.

Guests would probably be shuttled to and from the islands on airboats and greeted by experienced animal handlers.

“It’s not as easy as if we just set up a park someplace, but we’re feeling up to the challenge,” Lilianthal said.

He’s hoping to bring some of Australia to the islands of the midwest United States.