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LAKE FOREST, Ill. — So the kids want to go to the zoo or aquarium? There are lots of options to choose from. But if you’re looking to avoid the crowds and expense, listen up, because WGN’s Julian Crews is taking us to a place you might not have heard of. 

It’s the call of the wild in west-suburban Brookfield and Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo. But for something different, ride up to wooded Lake Forest to see Rob Carmichael and orphaned otter Odie at the Wildlife Discovery Center.

The center shelters vulnerable animals like Boris the Bobcat who was rescued from a circus. That’s part of the educational mission at the Wildlife Discovery Center.

The star of the show when it comes to reptiles is Khalli the Komodo Dragon.

“I think we’re the only nature center in the United States to be approved to have one,” Carmichael said.

Many of the alligators were rescued from drug traffickers after a bust. They found a safe haven with Carmichael who is a herpetologist. 

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