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Exotic animals take Wade Commons

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In collaboration with Our Zoo to You, a family-owned and operated service, the Case Pre-Veterinary Medical Association (CPVMA) brought exotic animals to Wade Commons for its annual Zoo University event.

“[CPVMA’s mission is] to help the pre-vets that are on campus, give them resources and responsibility and to share our love of animals,” said fourth-year student and CPVMA Co-President Jenna Sullivan.

One of the ways Sullivan and Co-President Claire Holiday, also a fourth-year student, pursue CPVMA’s mission is by hosting Zoo University every year. This year, the event took place in Wade’s Red Cat Room.

“[Hosting Zoo University is] our way to [publicize CPVMA],” said Sullivan, “but also…everybody loves animals and [exam season is] a stressful time. We do this just to give people something fun to do.”

Holiday added that the event is aimed to promote CPVMA to pre-veterinary students on campus who might be interested in participating.

Our Zoo to You, operated by Terri and Bryan Wise, helped significantly with the execution of Zoo University.

“We do educational programs at colleges, at libraries, nursing homes and we’re just super hands on teaching about exotic animals,” said Ms. Wise.

The Wises accept re-homed exotic animals from families who can no longer house their critters for health-related, financial or safety reasons. Once the animals are re-trained, the Wises travel to educate people on the animals.

“They’re fantastic; very professional,” said Holiday regarding the animal handlers.

“We’ve used [Our Zoo to You] in the past and they’re great,” added Sullivan. “[The experience is] very interactive, which is…what we want.”

Most of the animals at the event were native to South America, including Floyd the blue and gold macaw, Lillian the kinkajou and Cocoa the coatimundi. Attendants passed reptiles including corn snakes, a desert iguana and a panther chameleon around the room to one another. Terri Wise provoked her kookaburra to laugh for the crowd, while her husband allowed people to feed mango bits to Lillian.

The Wises founded Our Zoo to You in their community of Medina County because Bryan Wise expressed interest in caring for any exotic animal in need of a new home.

“My husband is known to take anything. He has no fear of anything and he’s able to work through aggression,” said Ms. Wise. “He has a lot of patience, [and] he has a lot of knowledge of just animals’ instincts and word got around that we would take anything.”

However, when the Wises faced financial stress due to the number of animals they took in, they established Our Zoo to You. The company is USDA and federally licensed, and all of its proceeds go towards taking care of the animals.

Currently, the Wises have approximately 60 animals, and they travel with about a third of them. Our Zoo to You brought 11 different species to CPVMA’s event on Saturday, April 21.

To get in contact with CPVMA, send their executive board an email.

To learn more about Our Zoo to You or contact them for booking at an event, visit them on the web.

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Exotic animals take Wade Commons