2012 is finally on it’s way out. It’s been a roller coaster. We’ve worried over pet food recalls, and bid farewell to Twinkies. Here in Utah, we welcomed polar bears back to Hogle Zoo with the new Rocky Shores exhibit. We reelected democrat President Barack Obama over republican hopeful Mitt Romney. Obama is a fan of Michael Vick, (Philadelphia Eagles quarterback/convicted dog torturer) who recently got a puppy, drawing understandable criticism from animal lovers. Hurricane Sandy slammed the northeastern United States. With broken hearts, we mourn with Connecticut after the horrific school shooting at Sandy Hook. And the Mayans were proved wrong, as the Apocalypse (zombie or otherwise) was a no-show, though some exotic pet owners in Ohio felt like their world was ending with the passing of an unconstitutional ban on their animals as a knee-jerk reaction to the Zanesville Tragedy. They are now filing suit. But what should we look forward to with exotic animals in 2013? Start the countdown!
5. Andy’s “Bird Day” Party at Tracy Aviary
On Saturday, January 19, 2013 Andy the Andean Condor, a bird in the New World Vulture family, is turning 54 years old. Andy’s home, Salt Lake City’s Tracy Aviary is throwing the celebrated scavenger a Bird-day Party January 19th 1pm to 3pm and you are invited!
Come celebrate with us! Our beloved Andean Condor, Andy, is turning 54 on January 19, 2013 and we invite you to honor him with us from 1pm to 3pm. We’ll be playing games, eating cake, enjoying an encounter with Andy himself, and much more!
Tracy Aviary is located at 589 East 1300 South in the southwest corner of Liberty Park in Salt Lake City.
The Andean Condor is a national symbol of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.
Check out Tracy Aviary’s website for other upcoming events in the coming year, including Winter Wednesdays, which are chilly but thrifty deal. With this program, any Wednesday November through March admission is only $1 per person.
4. Best Friends Animal Sanctuary Workshops
Most of us want to help animals, and some of us work hard to do so. We may donate money to our local shelter or even foster homeless animals till they find a forever home. But if you have a New Year’s resolution to do even more than most can, you might want to attend the educational workshops put on by Best Friends. Held at different times throughout the coming year, there are classes like these:
- How to Start an Animal Sanctuary
- Foundation Skills for Working with Dogs
- Giving Heart Retreat: A Workshop to Replenish the Animal Lover’s Soul
- Using Your Foundation to Develop Dog Handling Skills
- Feline Literacy: The ABC’s of Care for Rescue Cats
- Fine Tuning Your Dog Handling Skills with Common Behavior Challenges
3. Lehi’s Thanksgiving Point is a great place for budding animal buddies
With the gardens, dinosaur museum, and farm, many people know that Thanksgiving Point Institute is a wonderful place to take the family. However, not everyone knows how many animal related experiences are available at the Lehi educational destination, especially in the coming year. Currently, visitors can learn about how animals adapt to desert life (like wildlife in Utah) with the sculptures in the Children’s Discovery Garden, compare ancient reptiles, like dinosaurs, to living ones like “Kuma” the monitor lizard, in the Museum of Ancient Life, and find out all about how we keep animals like goats, turkeys, cows, sheep, horses, rabbits, and other farm animals in an agricultural setting, and in a hands-on way, at Farm Country!
But if you have young ones at home who are beginning to be fascinated by animals, 2013 might be the perfect year to start attending Thanksgiving Point’s story time, Tales for Tots. Tales for Tots, which is free with your admission is held at 11 am on Tuesdays at the dinosaur museum and Wednesdays at the Farm till April when it switches to the children’s garden. While it is primarily a literacy program, featuring a story and usually a craft, many are animal themed and include an up-close encounter with a live animal.
A few such stories include:
Wednesday, January 2nd, Farm Country
“A Colt Named Mischief” by Sandy Rabinowitz
We’ll do a fun horse craft and get to meet a real pony face to face!
Wednesday, January 9th, Farm Country
“3 Billy Goats Gruff” by Ted Dewan
TRIP TRAP TRIP TRAP! Along with our craft today we’ll get up close and meet a goat… but will it be a billy goat… or a nanny goat?
Tuesday, January 15th, Museum of Ancient Life
“Clumsy Crab” by Ruth Galloway
Don’t be crabby! Today you will find out where a fossil of a crab can be found in the museum, as well as get to meet some real live hermit crabs close up! But that’s not all. You’ll also make your own piece of hermit crab art!
Wednesday, January 16th, Farm Country
“Duck at the Door” by Jackie Urbanovic
Some birds fly south for the winter, but some stay and they can get pretty hungry. You can help them out by making this cute and easy bagel bird feeder! (Peanut allergy kids, we have a peanut-free recipe especially for you!)
Wednesday, January 23rd, Farm Country
“No Sleep for the Sheep” by Karen Beaumont
Come to story time today for a sleepy sheep craft that will be wonderfully wooly!
Tuesday, January 29th, Museum of Ancient Life
“Not a buzz to be found : insects in winter” by Linda Glaser
This book shows what twelve different insects do to survive winter’s chill!
They also plan to have a special “Bee-Day Party” Tales for Tots at the Children’s Garden for the return of their bee hive to the classroom, complete with treats, games, and stories, specific springtime date to be announced.
2. Creepy crawlies return in the fall for Wasatch Reptile Expo
Wasatch Reptile Expo, the state’s place to be for all this slimy and slithery, will be earlier than usual this coming year. Often held in October, 2013’s WRE will take place Saturday and Sunday, at the State Fair Grounds. It is a not to miss event, even for the casual pet owner or family.
September 28th & 29th.
Time: 10:00am – 6:00pm on Saturday
10:00am – 4:00pm on Sunday
Admission: $8.00 Per Person
Free: Children 4 years and under.
Parking is $5
There is lots of free parking outside the Fairpark.
Interested people are encouraged to follow them on Facebook for updates and discounted tickets.
1. New location for Living Planet Aquarium
The biggest news under the sea is that barring any emergencies, the new, beautiful, and much bigger location of the Living Planet Aquarium will be opening about a year from now! With flocks of tropical birds, as well as the uber-cute otters and penguins, the newly christened Loveland Living Planet Aquarium will have much more to delight than just fish. But don’t worry, you can visit until September, too (and help them pay for all of the improvements in the process ). The Sandy location(725 East 10600 South Sandy, UT 84094) will close September 8, 2013 to start moving the animals to the new location.
Official Name: Loveland Living Planet Aquarium
Site Location: 12033 S Lone Peak Parkway, Draper UT
Size: 136,000 square feet, 44-62 exhibits, 1 million gallons of water
Cost: $20 million – Funded by donors, grants, corporate sponsors and financing
Groundbreaking: October 24, 2012
Opening: December 2013
Happy New Year!
With so much to look forward to, let’s do our best to make 2013 a happy new year for all on this planet, whether they walk on 2 legs, 4 legs, 400, or none. Stand up for your rights as pet parents to responsibly keep whatever is ethically fair and right to do so, and for theirs to be kept only when it is safe and healthy and right and work towards a day when all have homes that love them.