Written by Lindsay Yates
On Thursday, August 2nd, the children and teenagers involved in PAL of Southern Nevada received a behind the scenes tour of what goes on at the Roo’s N More zoo in Moapa, Nevada. Aside from the normal dogs and cats, the kids were able to have hands on experience with camels and monkeys and otters, oh my! Roo’s N More is a nonprofit organization that provides conservation through education and its founders and volunteers are dedicated to keeping the animals as happy and healthy as possible.
The PAL program, run by the Metro Police Department, has a mission to provide area youth with positive alternatives though education, athletics and community service. Heaven Can Wait Animal Society has recently been working with twelve kids and two Metro Police Officers, providing volunteer opportunities for the program while teaching the children about the many animal related issues.
The first stop the kids had on the tour, led by the owner and veterinarian, Dr. Valerie Holt, was the pasture. Here, they had an opportunity to ‘kiss the camel,’ by putting one end of a carrot in their mouth and feeding it to one of the two camels. Contrary to popular belief, these animals don’t store water in their humps; they are made of nothing but fat. These extraordinary creatures are the only ones who can take in thirty to fifty gallons of water in one setting, and they can also take in and store salt water. If you’ve ever heard a camel speak, it might sound familiar. Camel sounds were used in Star Wars to voice the wookie everyone loves, Chewbacca. At the pasture, the kids were also able to meet a horse, a goat, a zebra and a zedonk, which is a man-made cross between a zebra and a donkey.
After some of the brave souls took a chance to kiss the camels, the PAL kids were headed indoors for a water break, but the fun didn’t stop! At this time, they had an opportunity to meet some feathered and furry friends. The first of these was the rather talkative Kookaburra. These sounds may be familiar to Disney fans, as Kookaburra voices were used in movies such as Tarzan and The Jungle Book. Then, came an opportunity to meet a few of the babies of the zoo! A favorite among everyone were the monkeys, who enjoyed climbing all over everything as well as stealing phones and Chap Stick!
Soon after, the kids headed to the Roo enclosure, to which the zoo was named. As well as kangaroos, they were able to see alpacas, an owl and a couple of emus. Though they couldn’t get close to the adult roos, the kids had an opportunity to hold a baby roo! Kangaroo babies, also called joeys, can stay in the mother’s pouch for up to eleven months!
Finishing their day, the kids of the PAL program were able to enter the otter enclosure. This enclosure isn’t open to the public and usually costs to get in. The playful freshwater otters wrestled under the kids legs and climbed into their shirts chasing each other around. This enclosure caused a lot of laughs because of the playful nature of the animals.
Roo’s N More is a hands-on ed-zoo-cational experience, existing to educate others about the welfare of animals. Most animals on the premises are rescues, coming from people who thought it would be fun to have an exotic pet, but realized the responsibility it holds. Overall, it was a great experience that really opens eyes to the reality and responsibility of owning any animal, exotic or not.
It is important to Heaven Can Wait to help local youth learn how to be responsible and caring guardians for cats, dogs and all sorts of animals that live in the Las Vegas valley. We do this through our Angels for Animals humane education program, Heaven Can Wait Youth Group and now through PAL. You can help support these essential programs by CLICKING HERE.
Filed under: Community, Programs Tagged: | animal rescue, animal welfare, animals, HCWS, Heaven Can Wait Adoptables, Heaven Can Wait Animal Society, homeless animals, humane education, PAL of Southern Nevada, Roo's N More