As we got to know Baden, we realized that his most heartfelt wish was to have encounters with lots of animals…to see them up close and learn about them.
When 7-year-old Baden met his volunteer wish granters, he was pretty sure he wanted to go somewhere for his wish. This bright boy, who loves Legos, Star Wars, and is a budding comedian, had a list of places he wanted to go, and when asked why he wanted to visit the places on his list, the answer was always the same…to see the animals that lived there! He wanted to see eagles in Alaska, kangaroos in Australia, and big cats in Africa.
As we got to know Baden, we realized that his most heartfelt wish was to have encounters with lots of animals…to see them up close and learn about them. So we got to work planning the trip of a lifetime for him, and discovered that all of the animal experiences he dreamed of could be found in Atlanta, GA.
Baden’s wish started as most do – with a limo ride to the airport for his flight to Atlanta. The first day of his adventure included a visit to Wild Animal Safari, where Baden got to hand feed a tiger and two lions, and pet dozens of other animals, including monkeys, buffalo, long horn cows, llama, antelope, elk, ostrich, zebra, white rhino, and more. “He had literally unlimited access to everything,” says his dad Chris, “including the head zoo keeper, Mike.”
The next stop was Zoo Atlanta, where Baden had his very own docent and reptile specialist for a very special behind-the-scenes tour and encounter with lots of snakes. A couple days later, he was the guest of honor at the Chattahoochee Nature Center, which featured a River Boardwalk,
Discovery Center, wetland demonstration gardens and woodland trails that are home to over 50 species of injured, non-releasable wildlife.
The final stop of Baden’s whirlwind animal adventure was the Georgia Aquarium, where he was once again treated to a behind-the-scenes VIP tour that included a visit to their live coral reef exhibit, the veterinary clinic, and the whale shark exhibit, which is the largest in the world.
Baden had the time of his life on his wish trip and he talks about his experiences all the time. It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that he will remember forever.
Many thanks to Clear Channel San Diego for adopting Baden’s wish and making him the VIP guest at a party in his honor at their facility.