Wisconsin Life # 706: Fortitude

November 7, 2019


Wisconsin Life host Angela Fitzgerald Angela heads to West Bend to embrace the wildlife at the Shalom Wildlife Zoo. The zoo’s focus is to preserve the animals’ natural ecosystem while providing an educational experience. And there are plenty of opportunities for that with over 400 animals on site. Angela gets up close with buffalo, bears and a camel. She also helps feed deer and sees what it takes to run a zoo. Angela speaks with co-owner David Fechter about how the 100-acre zoo got its start. Fechter also explains how the community supports the wildlife zoo with food donations.


Fitzgerald also has all-new stories from the Wisconsin Life team, including a visit to a non-profit bear sanctuary. Jeff Traska is a lifelong outdoorsman and “reformed” sports hunter who runs the sanctuary used for educational purposes to help bear and man coexist side-by-side. The bear population in Wisconsin is expanding and Traska uses the skills he’s learned to teach people from all over the world about Wisconsin’s Black Bears.

Next, we meet Rose Vincent, a woman with many talents. She’s a luthier; someone who fixes and restores old and broken string instruments and she’s a classically trained violinist. When she was recruited by a fellow member of the chamber orchestra to fill in for a local bluegrass band in Eau Claire, she fell in love with the music. Now she travels the country playing bluegrass.

Then we travel to New Berlin where Nina Ghanbarzadeh uses text to create large scale works of art. From a distance, her work looks like large hand-drawn objects, but a closer look reveals the detail of each image is created by small lines of handwritten text. The text consists of specific words and phrases written repetitively in patterns on paper becoming the colors and elements of design in her art.

Finally, we meet Paul and Carol Wagner who raise 550 head of long wool Coopworth sheep and run a 1920s woolen mill in Valders. Carol dyes the wool while Paul operates the woolen mill. They sell their wool products locally at farmers’ markets and wool festivals throughout the Midwest.


Sign Up Form

Sign Up for Our Bi-Weekly Newsletter

Get your favorite Wisconsin Life stories, meet the crew, and go behind the scenes.