Free Zoo Sunday presents Hollywood-themed show

Back to Article
Back to Article

Free Zoo Sunday presents Hollywood-themed show

A student trainer at Moorpark College's

A student trainer at Moorpark College's "America's Teaching Zoo" is performing with one of the Zoo's birds during Sunday's Free Zoo event. Photo credit: Mary Altshuller

A student trainer at Moorpark College's "America's Teaching Zoo" is performing with one of the Zoo's birds during Sunday's Free Zoo event. Photo credit: Mary Altshuller

A student trainer at Moorpark College's "America's Teaching Zoo" is performing with one of the Zoo's birds during Sunday's Free Zoo event. Photo credit: Mary Altshuller

By Mary Altshuller

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

Nearly 2,000 people showed up for a free day at Moorpark College’s Teaching Zoo Sunday, September 24.

The animal feeder stands were jam-packed with the curious at the 2 p.m. animal showing while popular music was played over loudspeakers. Students of the Exotic Animals and Training Management (EATM) program started with a flair indicating that they thought there might be a need for some of their animals to appear in future Hollywood blockbusters. They encouraged the audience to clap their hands for their favorite animal.

About eight animals were displayed and students shared their opinions on what type of movie they could be featured in.

First up was Eleanor, the Vietnamese pot-bellied pig, who could turn in circles with a target pole resembling a stick with a ball attached being held by a student. Eleanor followed it with her eager snout in the air. It was pointed out that pot-bellied pigs are like dogs in that when they’re happy, they wag their tails and Eleanor wagged hers enthusiastically. Polite applause was issued for Eleanor.

Rollo, a legless, snake-like creature, is a European glass lizard that had itself wrapped around the extended arms of one of the students, as she slowly walked around the arena for everyone to admire. They hinted he might be good in a spy movie because he could easily hide in the grass when an enemy was close by. Yes, everyone thought Rollo would be great in a spy movie.

Beautiful birds hail from the Amazon and Miki, the orange-winged parrot, was no different. He showed everyone how clever he could be in a movie if an enemy were approaching. These birds hang out together and if an enemy were approaching, they would all take wing, flying off into treetops or higher, thus confusing the enemy.

Brutus the black-throated monitor lizard is dark grey with white markings and weighs 35 pounds. His long fork-like tongue flicked in and out as students helped point him to different red square plates on the ground that had food on them. He uses his tongue to smell things. But Brutus was very eager for a white mouse that was hovered briefly over his long snout before it was finally lowered within centimeters of his mouth, disappearing down Brutus’ long throat. He has a very long, strong tail that can be whipped to injure an enemy.

Tilly the Eastern box turtle was more interested in getting outside the arena to check out the audience. She has a spine that is attached to her shell and the students told everyone that it feels like a human fingernail. So everyone was encouraged to feel their fingernail. Yes, she’d be good in a spy movie too because she can completely close herself into her shell and hide until the enemy is gone.

Hollywood always produces romantic comedies and the students thought Blossom the possum would be great in one. As she was held in the arms of a student like a baby and walked around the arena for all to see her, her bright black eyes seemed to be on everyone. She’s very cute and cuddly and has a long, strong tail which she can use to wrap around a tree branch and hang herself upside down. As she ages, though, her tail will lose its strength and not be able to hold Blossom up by her weight. The audience thought she’d be great in a romantic comedy.

At the new extended area of the zoo, a concrete pond had been built and filled with water for Clarence the Galapagos tortoise. He’s estimated to be around 96 years old and tortoises can live 200 years. Angela Maorcai, age 11, from the area, was admiring Clarence.

“I’ve been here a long time,” said Maorcai. “I like Clarence because in the past he’s been outside on the grass and I’ve watched kids pet him. He’s really nice.”

Others were admiring some of the exotic birds in another cage area, one of them being a laughing kookaburra, from Australia.

Michaela Treviño, 21, of Palm Springs, likes all Australian animals.

“He’s just cute and adorable and I love his cute bill,” said Treviño.

This Free Zoo Sunday was offered for the second year in a row.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email