The Family That Brings The Zoo To You
Co - Owners Brian Wild and Nicole Lark, and their children Brian and Sarah are all involved in running this
small family business from their home in Hazlet, NJ.
Company - Animals - Clients
Since opening in 2004, Wild Side Zoo has grown from a weekend birthday party business to a 7 day a week, 365 day a year animal exhibition company which provides interactive animal programs all throughout NYC and New Jersey. We are certified Wildlife Exhibitors and licensed by the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife and the United States Department of Agriculture.
All of the animals in our programs all live in our home. Our family of four takes care of their every need. Many of the animals were unwanted pets that had been adopted from families who had gotten overwhelmed. Some of them have been rescued from neglect and abuse. And a few of them have been purchased from some of the best breeders across the country.
The animals are certainly treated like family here. It takes a lot of work and dedication to run a business like ours, and we love living with a multitude of amazing animals.
We have been routinely trusted by teachers, school and private association administrators, scout leaders, and senior living event coordinators, corporate entities, and of course, proud birthday party parents over 2,500 times to date. Thats a lot of animal shows!
Brian is a lifelong animal enthusiast and founder of Wild Side Zoo. Born in 1980 in Staten Island, he gained experience working with animals at Arcadia Pets. Before that, he was a volunteer at The Staten Island Zoo where he worked mainly with summer campers, and later as a Junior Zoo Keeper, assisting Zoo staff with their Saturday routines. During College, Brian started what is now the family business while also working as a paraprofessional for the NYCDOE. The initial goal was to become a Science Teacher, but Wild Side Zoo did well enough for him to take a chance, and in 2008, he left the DOE and college to run Wild Side Zoo full time, and has not had to look back since.
As you can see here, Nicole loves animals. She is the co-founder of Wild Side Zoo, and has accompanied Brian on over 500 outings to parties and summer camps with the animals. She works for the NYC DOE and is a veteran Guidance Counselor. Her skills in capturing the attention of children and adults combined with her natural intuition for animal handling make her great at sharing her passion with audiences during interactive presentations. Nicole is also a practicing vegetarian, conservationist, and proud mother... to human children, and her critter cast at home, which includes a new favorite, a Bearded Dragon named Clementine.
Denisses started working for Wild Side Zoo in 2019. She is incredibly patient and passionate about her work with animals. Her charming demeanor, commitment to satisfaction, and Upbeat personality make Denisse a hit at parties and special events.
Denisse is a professional photographer, and after visiting several animal programs to do photos for Wild Side Zoo, she showed interest in becoming a presenter, and her background in childcare and natural initiative quickly earned her a spot on our Team. She is also bilingual, making Wild Side Zoo the only company to offer presentations in a second Language!
John D. is the youngest presenter for Wild Side Zoo and is also a reptile fanatic. We promise he has a lower half of his body, and does an excellent performance as well.
John and Brian go way back to 2008, when John's mother Angela hired Wild Side Zoo as the entertainment for John's Communion party at Lastrada Reteraunt in Staten Island. Young John enjoyed his time with Brian and the animals so much that mom did a repeat for his birthday in 2011. John D. was hooked on reptiles, and they became his life's passion.
Say Hello to Tom White. Tom has been a reptile fanatic for as long as he can remember and it shows. His persona screams wildlife warrior. Tom is an advocate for everything that walks or crawls this earth, and has been sharing his larger than life passion for reptiles and invertebrates through social media. Tom is guaranteed to be the life of any party he attends.
Watching Tom grow on both Instagram and TikTok is going to be thrilling. He is becoming an avid creator on those platforms. Check out @Dreaded_reptiles. This young man has big things ahead of him. One day some of you will be able to say "He was at my Birthday Party".
Brian is a such a hard worker, that he made the staff page at 9 years old, and one day plans to run the zoo. Don't let his age fool you though. He is already more than capable of putting on the mic, and has shown proficiency keeping the attention of audiences half AND double his age.
Brian has the work ethic of a dedicated young professional, and is learning that hard work pays off. He has been accompanying his parents to events since the age of 6, and has been a mainstay in the lineup as an assistant to Nicole, his mother, choosing to work most weekends she is performing.
The story begins with the first animal show......
Who? A father, a pet shop owner, and Me, Brian.
What? The entertainment for a boy's birthday party.
When? Not quite sure exactly, but sometime in the early 2000's.
Where? A backyard in Staten Island, NY.
Why? Because some boy's dad had an idea.
And this is the story that set my entire adult life in motion.
The Story of Brian Wild.