From the plains of Africa to the outback of Australia, animals that are found all over the world arrived at Congregation Beth Shalom (CBS) Preschool Wednesday for a special animal show.
The “Wildlife Ed-Venture” presented by Agua Dulce’s Animal Tracks Inc. brought 10 exotic animals to the preschool for children to watch, pet, smell and hold.
“We’re an education facility in Agua Dulce and this is what we do,” said Stacy Gunderson, director of Animal Tracks Inc. “We lead tracks and facts with schools, girl scouts, boy scouts, things like that.”
This was the first time the preschool invited the animal sanctuary to CBS, but the preschool hopes to bring the educational program back for students in the spring and in the summer.
“This is the first time that they [the students] have seen many of these animals,” said Carol Bloom, director of Early Childhood Development at CBS Preschool. “It’s a first time for many of us to see these animals up close and personal.”
During their visit, Stacy Gunderson and Alyson Rousseau of Animal Tracks Inc. shared information about the diet, living environment and unique characteristics of each of their animals.
“Even my littlest ones, my 2 year olds, they sat so beautifully watching and listening,” Bloom said. “This was a great experience for everybody.”
The preschoolers say in awe as they saw animal visitors like an alligator named Snaggletooth, a rose hair tarantula named Rosie, an albino burmese python named The Erminator, a kookaburra bird named Pebbles and a skunk named Little Bear.
They also had a chance to touch the fur and quills of two hedgehogs, smell the fur of Snowflake the ferret and touch the tail of Chloe the opossum.
As Gunderson brought out each of her animals she also shared a fun fact about her furry friends. For example, Chloe the opossum is expected to live four year and eat 30,000 ticks during her lifetime.
A highlight of the day for both the children and the teachers was having the opportunity to pet Bella, a red tail kangaroo. They also enjoyed meeting Marley, a capuchin monkey, who starred in movies like “Doctor Dolittle.”
On Twitter as @_ChristinaCox_