Traveling zoo introduces Reed City residents to new animals, exotic friends
REED CITY — There certainly is a wild, wild world out there — even in Reed City.
There was standing room only at the Reed City Depot when a presentation from The Whispering Pines Mobile Zoo was offered this past weekend.
Children sat elbow to elbow in excitement as Kirk Elya and Claudia Herrmann showcased some of their most exotic animals. “Ooohs” and “Ahhhs” rang out with the introduction of each animal. Herrmann gave a short educational talk as Elya tried to reach as many of the visitors as he could so they could personally interact with these beautiful creatures.
Cheyenne, a scarlet macaw enjoyed just sitting in front of the crowd showing off his beautiful colors while Kiki, a cockatoo decided it would be more fun to try to talk over Herrmann. Every once in a while everyone would go silent so they could hear, “Aloha, aloha.”
The sweet face of Pheobe, a fennec fox, was enough to melt anyone’s heart. Even with her big ears, which children learned were very important for her to hear prey coming, she was an adorable little thing.
Many brave little hands reached out to pet the animals including an African pygmy hedgehog, an Argentinean black and white tegu, and an alligator. Not even the 50-pound albino Burmese python seemed to scare them.
Born the size of a lima bean, Wally, 6-month old walaroo, still loved being bundled in a pouch. Philip Noreen became part of the show when asked to babysit through the rest of the presentation.
“There is just something about me and animals, they love me,” he said as Wally fell asleep in his arms.
Everyone enjoyed the many animals, but it was clear who was the star of the morning. Seymour, a 6-month-old Capuchin monkey, got more laughs than a circus clown. Sporting a cute baby onesie, he bounced around entertaining everyone with his acrobatic flips on and off of Elya’s arms. Capuchins are a very intelligent monkey and are now being trained to assist disabled people in their daily tasks.
The morning was filled with a lot of fun for the whole family and a little education as well.