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About Us

Stairway to Heaven!We are a USDA approved, fully licensed and insured, private zoo that houses over thirty different animal species. Our attention grabbing presentations and animal encounters are adapted specifically to your group's age and interests.Up, up, and away!

Samantha Martin, originally known as the “Rat Lady of Chicago,” is the founder and owner of Amazing Animals and has over twenty-five years of experience working with and training animals. She has a college degree in Animal Husbandry and is also a graduate of the Brookfield Zoological Internship program.

Samantha is a feline specialist and is continuing her education by taking courses towards an Animal Behaviorist degree. Before starting her own business, she worked at a variety of animal facilities, including a veterinary clinic, animal shelter, and pet shop.

Samantha and her animals have made numerous appearances on local and national television and radio programs, such as The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Animal Planet, Wild Chicago, 190 North, WGN, CBS, MTV, CNN, and more. They have also toured throughout the United States and Europe and many of her animals have appeared in movies, music videos, commercials, and print ads. Samantha, herself, has been featured in several books and articles, including “Ten Minutes to Cat Training” and “Staci’s Guide to Animal Movies.”

Samantha and Company

Samantha’s zoo is not just her livelihood, it is an integral part of her life. All of her animals are housed on the property she resides in and have been hand raised by Samantha and her staff.

People of all ages share a fascination with the animal kingdom. Our zoo offers many different programs that will be sure to excite and interest any audience. We welcome you to experience an Amazing Animal Adventure by Samantha!

We are always looking for volunteers and interns to assist in the care of our animals. If you or someone you know would be interested in the opportunity to learn about and work with exotic animals, please contact us at 773-549-3357 or email us at

Feline Chorus Line!

Be sure to check out information on our special holiday shows!
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© 2000-2011 Amazing Animals by Samantha
Last updated November 2008

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