Loet Vanderveen was born in Rotterdam, Holland. His home was very close to the zoo where during his early years, Loet spent a great deal of his time. It was during this period in life that developed his love for animals. At night, listening to the sound of wild animals in the zoo, he would fantasize about safaris to Africa... fantasies that were eventually realized! Hours before the bombardment of Rotterdam the Dutch army was ordered to destroy all of the dangerous species in the zoo. The animals were destroyed as well as his home and these events led Loet into a new phase in his life.