By Stephan Lee
August 25, 2012 at 02:15 PM EDT

Pretty much across the board, it’s human nature to love animal photos and Betty White. White, a noted animal rights activist, describes herself as a “lifelong card-carrying zoo groupie.” She documents her encounters with giraffes, snakes, elephants, apes, koalas, and more in her new book Betty & Friends: My Life at the Zoo. (Sept. 4). Click through for pictures of White and her furry, scaly, and feathered buddies.

NEXT: Betty White and an elephant

Betty White and an elephant

NEXT: Betty White and a giraffe

Betty White and a giraffe

NEXT: Young Betty White and a baby gorilla

Betty White and a baby gorilla

“Years ago I made friends with a very special little girl, Lina.”

NEXT: Betty White and a beluga whale

Betty White and a beluga whale

“I have a dear friend who lives in Atlanta. He just happens to be a beluga whale. You can’t meet someone like Beethoven and never see him again. So I flew myself out to revisit the Georgia Aquarium recently. I know he didn’t, but it was almost like he recognized me. He sped across his enormous pool to give me a welcoming kiss.”

NEXT: Betty White hugs a koala

Betty White and a koala

“The baby koala at the Cleveland Zoo. I think this says it all.”

NEXT: Betty White kisses a giraffe

Smooch, smooch

NEXT: Betty White wants more Beethoven

Betty White and Beethoven

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