Tracy and Squirt

Tracy L. Mikowski, Author

Tracy Mikowski was born and raised in northern Michigan. She grew up with a family-owned fish and game park and delighted in a childhood filled with wild and domestic birds and animals. Her compassion for all living creatures became evident even at a very young age.

Tracy was a zookeeper for many years at Clinch Park Zoo in Traverse City, Michigan, where she lovingly cared for all of the animal residents, including bears, wolves, mountain lions, bats, eagles, snakes and turtles. To look at her petite figure, one would never guess that she was the strong, capable and brave person that she is. Her understanding of animals and uncanny rapport with them is, however, probably her greatest asset.

Tracy has rescued scores of animals over the years and provided them all with a loving home. She has also been involved in wildlife rehabilitation and has raised numerous orphaned animals including otters, porcupines (which she claims are the cuddliest of all the wild animal babies), bobcats and coyotes.

Call it genetics, call it fate, or whatever you wish….but this author was destined from birth to be a caretaker and lover of animals.

Tracy now lives in the Valley of the Eagles in Alaska with her husband, Joe, their six dogs and a rescue cat.

The talking crow…

When the City of Traverse City decided to close their zoo, Tracy was given the responsibility of finding new homes for all of the animals. It was a heart-wrenching task. She had been devoted to all of the zoo’s residents for so many years and was deeply bonded with many that she had raised. Tracy made the effort to find truly exceptional homes for all the mammals, birds and reptiles. She accompanied most of them to their destinations and, even though there were some tense moments driving cross-country with bears, wolves and mountain lions, everyone was safely delivered to their new caretakers.

There was, however, one zoo resident, the very popular talking crow named “Ace,” who simply moved from the zoo to Tracy’s living room. Ace was a favorite among children and adult zoo-goers alike who loved to hear her laugh and greet them with “hello” and “g’bye”. Ace was the inspiration for Talking Crow Publishing, a means for Tracy to tell the animals’ stories.