Reality show features local family
BY COREY DAVIS
Thursday, May 24, 2018
Audiences across the country on Tuesday got a taste of why a small exotic petting zoo in Edgecombe County has become a popular destination for local families.
It’s a Zoo Life, located just off N.C. 42 in Pinetops, debuted its new reality show series on the TLC Network on Tuesday night called “Our Wild Life.” Network officials said the series will offer a unique look into the home of Bobbie Jo and Jerry Abrams, who have a blended family of humans and wild animals.
“The show was fun,” said Bobbie Jo Abrams, who runs the petting zoo. “It was great to be able to do it as a family, and people will continue to see with the animals and the whole dynamic how it all works together. My husband was really busy during this time because we were opening our new Abrams (BBQ & Seafood) in Windsor. We have a lot of that in the filming.”
Abrams tends to 81 animals with the care and attention of a mother. Each animal is like a new brother or sister, with animal siblings including a zebra, camel and lemur, as well as kangaroos, alpacas, llamas, wallabies, pigs and more animals. Several of the Abrams’ animals are rescues or have special needs. Throughout the season, the Abrams welcome a wolf-dog hybrid, a litter of puppies and even the interesting “Belt the Sloth,” who hangs around exploring his new home — albeit very slowly.
“We’re going to reach all sorts of different people that don’t live like we do, which is common for us,” Abrams said.
In the premiere episode, Bobbie Jo’s daughter, Hali, brought home a new umbrella cockatoo named Coco, rescued from a closing local pet store. Bobbie Jo falls in love with the bird, only to discover that Coco swears. Already frustated that so many animals live in the house, the Abrams’ nanny, Naa Naa, who has been a staple in the household for seven years, is strongly against taking in another animal.
However, despite Naa Naa’s objections, the family continues adopting more. Bobbie Jo called Naa Naa the star of the series.
“Naa Naa is like the real Madea,” Abrams said. “She is truly like that. She is funny and old-school. She was a school teacher around here for 37 years, and everyone knows that. We sneak and hide animals around her. I pay her to tell me what to do. She’s like our mamma.”
In each of the next five, one-hour episodes this season, viewers can expect a ton of wild moments, network officials said. In a future episode, it will show It’s a Zoo Life throwing a big spring festival on its property for the entire town as Bobbie Joe is determined that all of her animals and children will be on their best behavior.
“We’re hoping the series comes across as really funny, cute and a family show without the drama,” Abrams said. “It was surely a blessing because I never thought in a million years this type of opportunity would have happened for us.
“I would truly like to thank the people in the community that have supported our business throughout the years.”