Spring Spectacular is bringing magic to Moorpark’s zoo

Bryenna+Workman+releases+Salsa%2C+the+31+year-old+Catalina+Macaw%2C+during+dress+rehearsal+for+the+Spring+Spectacular+at+America%27s+Teaching+Zoo+at+Moorpark+College+on+Thursday%2C+March+7.+Salsa+made+a+flying+entrance+and+exit+over+the+crowd%2C+flaunting+his+feathers.+Photo+credit%3A+Evan+Reinhardt
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Spring Spectacular is bringing magic to Moorpark’s zoo

Bryenna Workman releases Salsa, the 31 year-old Catalina Macaw, during dress rehearsal for the Spring Spectacular at America's Teaching Zoo at Moorpark College on Thursday, March 7. Salsa made a flying entrance and exit over the crowd, flaunting his feathers. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

Bryenna Workman releases Salsa, the 31 year-old Catalina Macaw, during dress rehearsal for the Spring Spectacular at America's Teaching Zoo at Moorpark College on Thursday, March 7. Salsa made a flying entrance and exit over the crowd, flaunting his feathers. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

Bryenna Workman releases Salsa, the 31 year-old Catalina Macaw, during dress rehearsal for the Spring Spectacular at America's Teaching Zoo at Moorpark College on Thursday, March 7. Salsa made a flying entrance and exit over the crowd, flaunting his feathers. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

Bryenna Workman releases Salsa, the 31 year-old Catalina Macaw, during dress rehearsal for the Spring Spectacular at America's Teaching Zoo at Moorpark College on Thursday, March 7. Salsa made a flying entrance and exit over the crowd, flaunting his feathers. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

By Margot Rowe

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This March is going to be a magical experience at Moorpark’s Zoo, Spring Spectacular is coming up and this year’s theme is ‘Zootastic Beasts and How to Save Them.” Starting Saturday, March 16, the celebration will feature more animals, behind-the-scenes action, more tours, and special creature features. This annual event presented by the second year students of the EATM program hopes to bring exposure and awareness of these creatures to the community.

Event preparations started at the beginning of the semester with the EATM program redecorating the zoo. These renovations included repainting the main theater and renovating the eye-to-eye theater in order to accommodate the entire day of performances.

“As second years we’ve been working really hard to build relationships with our animals and train them to come out and have a fun time,” Tiana Adams said, a second-year EATM student. “It’s a cool opportunity as students to showcase what we’ve been working on in a fun, positive way.”

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Santiago Flores guides Ibis, a 15 year-old African Serval, during dress rehearsal for the Spring Spectacular at America's Teaching Zoo on Thursday, March 7. According to the zoo staff, Ibis is often mistaken for a baby cheetah. Photo credit: Evan Reinhardt

Expect EATM students to put on their best wizard robes and practice some new spells because there will be a variety of activities to enjoy at the event. There will be more animal interactions, more tours around the zoo, activities for children such as a scavenger hunt, and for an additional fee, more behind-the-scenes tours.

“We have so much going on for our guests to enjoy, to eat, to see,” Mara Rodriguez said, the Zoo-Operations Instructional Lab Technician. “It really is a great opportunity, whether it’s your first time or your 50th time to our zoo.”

Along with all those activities, the event will have a special creature feature where outside animal companies will come and present their animals. There are no specifics on which animals will be presented for the creature features, but companies invited include the Wildlife Waystation, Wings of Discovery, Bob Dunn’s Animal Service, and Steve Martin’s Working Wildlife.

“It’s a fun opportunity to support the school; all the funds go back to the zoo,” Adams said. “There’ll be a lot of things to do and it’s a lot of education in a fun way.”

The opening day of the Spring Spectacular will be a bit more enchanting due to Moorpark College’s Spring Festival. This separate event is themed “Magic of Moorpark.” According to Rodriguez, there will be a kids train that will take children back and forth between MC’s Spring Festival and Spring Spectacular at the zoo.

The enchanting event days for Spring Spectacular are March 16, 17, 23, and 24 with the gates opening at 10 a.m. and closing at 5 p.m. Tickets start at $10 for adults, $7 for seniors and children (ages 12-2), $5 for zoo members, and is free for children under 2. For more information visit the America’s Teaching Zoo website and grab your broomsticks and fly on down to enjoy some “zootastic beasts.”

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