Go Back   Pet forum for dogs cats and humans - Pets.ca > In the News - Pet related articles and stories in the press > Newspaper Articles of Interest (animal/pet related) from Around the World

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old December 18th, 2003, 12:00 AM
petnews's Avatar
petnews petnews is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 220
Exotic pets teach science lessons

Exotic pets teach science lessons
By CLAIRE CANTU
Norwich Bulletin

NORWICH -- Most mothers bring in cupcakes to school when their child has a birthday. Lesa Scheifele brings in boa constrictors.

Or tarantulas, ferrets, parrots or pythons.

Scheifele is not just mother to Samantha and Peter, students in the fourth and fifth grade Integrated Day Program at Moriarty Elementary School; she's an exotic animal trainer. And on her children's birthdays, she lets them choose an animal for her to bring into class.

Lately, though, Scheifele has felt guilty that kids in other Moriarty classes didn't get a chance to see the animals. So she and her company, "The Lost Ark," donated a grant worth $5,000 to the school. This covers a year-long series of monthly full-day animal behavior programs for the entire school.

On Tuesday, Scheifele led a segment on endangered species and animal adaptation for survival. Or, as students might put it, "The Greatest Show On Earth."

Although an albino ferret named Fluffernutter almost fell asleep, none of the two-legged creatures in the audience were in any danger of that. Students were on the edge of their seats as Scheifele introduced them to animals with remarkable adaptation strategies.

There were Fluffernutter and Puck, a domestic black ferret, who were more flexible than many gymnasts. There was Dartagnan, a Double Yellow-head Amazon Parrot, who could hang upside down, talk and sing.

And there was a mysterious creature in a box, a living relative of dinosaurs, who turned out to be, to everyone's surprise, a chicken. The bantam Buff Cochin named Gus played the piano with his beak.

The kids also met Hari, a boa constrictor, with a better sense of smell in her tongue than a dog has in its nose. Everyone petted her except one student who moved his chair back. "The snake scared the heck out of me," he said afterwards.

Can you top a chicken playing the piano? Yes, if you have a celebrity on tap.

Otter, a beagle/miniature pinscher cross who recently appeared on "Planet's Funniest Animals," lived up to his star reputation by jumping through hoops and even painting a picture. At home with Scheifele, he even fetches the remote, she said.

Although the dog artist made a big impression, many students felt similarly to fourth grader Ce'nedra Darragh, who liked learning "that the chicken is related to a dinosaur."

Scheifele said most exotic animals don't make good pets. A parrot, for example, is expensive to feed and dangerous,too, she said.

It's not only kids who learned something. All that Principal Linda Demikat knew about chickens was that she was scratched by one on the farm where she grew up. Now that she's watched Gus play the piano, she sees their intelligence. "It's not just an animal in the barnyard," she said.
Attached Images
 
__________________
Our stories derive from various news sources through press releases and from various pet-related sources. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to post them here.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Forum Terms of Use

  • All Bulletin Board Posts are for personal/non-commercial use only.
  • Self-promotion and/or promotion in general is prohibited.
  • Debate is healthy but profane and deliberately rude posts will be deleted.
  • Posters not following the rules will be banned at the Admins' discretion.
  • Read the Full Forum Rules

Forum Details

  • Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
    Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
    vBulletin Optimisation by vB Optimise (Reduced on this page: MySQL 9.09%).
  • All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:13 AM.