Zander's dream comes true after wild scavenger hunt

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by DEBBIE DENMON

WFAA

Posted on May 27, 2012 at 12:52 AM

Updated Sunday, May 27 at 12:53 PM

DALLAS — For the past week, we've been celebrating Make-A-Wish milestones. The organization just granted its 7,000th wish — one that News 8 viewers helped come true.

We introduced you to Zander Wiemuth and met up with him again on Saturday as he pursued his dream of working with animals.

Let's just say he's more than a dog whisperer... this kid loves animals with a bigger bite!

Zander wants to be a zookeeper, a wish he declared recently at the Make-A-Wish gala "I want you to help me find the alligator Chompy and put him back in his habitat," he said.

So on Saturday, the hunt was on! But first, he found something else that slithers — a snake stealing the show at the Winspear Opera House.

Zander's mom, Samantha Wiemuth, appreciates this scavenger hunt taking him places he's never been. "It was fabulous it was so much fun," she said.

A fun day for a youngster who has a life-threatening illness — tumors on his brain that cause seizures.

But on this day, it's all bout finding Chompy the Alligator.

Zander followed the clues and got closer to tracking down his favorite animal.

And he found the stuffed green toy inside a tent set up in the center of a ballroom at the new Omni Dallas hotel.

But that was just a prelude for fulfilling his wish to meet a real crocodile at the Dallas Zoo.

"It's a chance to let Zander be Zander and him not have to worry about earning anything," his mom said.

Part of Zander's wish as a zookeeper for the day was to feed a real crocodile named "Monster" — a reptile at least 12 feet long.

E-mail ddenmon@wfaa.com

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