The wild life: Maddon brings petting zoo to Wrigley Field

CHICAGO (AP) Now that's living the wild life!

With the Chicago Cubs closing in on their first playoff berth in seven years, quirky manager Joe Maddon morphed Wrigley Field into a mini-zoo.

Before the Cubs played the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday night, a small petting zoo was set up in the left-field corner for players to enjoy with their children and families. There was a sloth, a penguin, a snow leopard and a flamingo on display, as well as other animals.

The flamingo, named Warren, made an appearance at Maddon's pregame media briefing and strutted in front of reporters.

''I'm a big pink flamingo fan,'' Maddon said. ''That's why I really insisted on that.''

The animals were brought in by the Columbus, Ohio, zoo and marked the latest example of Maddon looking to lighten the mood with something fun for his team.

And it wasn't the first time he turned to nature.

When he was managing the Tampa Bay Rays, Maddon brought in cockatiels and other exotic creatures for the players.

''This is my first experience with some of the events, little things that he puts on,'' said Cubs outfielder Austin Jackson, acquired from Seattle on Aug. 31. ''It's pretty cool. You get the family and the kids involved. It's something different.''

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