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The Spotlight gives students opportunity to interact with exotic animals

Sophomore undergraduate student Sarah Richardson examines the baby alligators. (Photo by Danielle Friedmeyer/For the Muleskinner)

UCM students and people from the Warrensburg community recently came together at Selmo Park for a day full of bright sun, warm weather and a community experience interacting with cute and exotic animals.

The Spotlight hosted farm and exotic animals March 27 for people to interact with. “UCM Bought a Zoo” was brought back from last year, and included kangaroos, alpacas, goats, baby alligators, cows and a wildebeest.   

Sarah Richardson, a sophomore undergraduate student, said her favorite part of the event was getting to spend time with her friends.  

“I missed the one they did last year, so I made sure to go this time,” she said.

UCM students, young children and parents swarmed around the animals’ pens throughout the entirety of the event. Thorni Ridge Exotic, the organization that provided the animals, handed out cups filled with animal feed to the visitors to give to the animals.

Photo by Danielle Friedmeyer/For the Muleskinner

An alpaca, one of the animals featured at the petting zoo, eating grass that the students picked up to give as food.

Sophomore undergraduate student, Alyssa Carter, said her favorite animals that she got to interact with were the kangaroos.  

“But the one thing I would change about the event is providing more information about each animal, such as what it is and the food it is supposed to be given,” she said.

While petting the wildebeest, junior undergraduate student Samantha Brookshier said her favorite part of the event was getting to see all the animals that were there.

“Especially since some of them were more exotic,” she said.

One thing that she would change about the event is the size of the cages that the animals were in.  

“I really wish that the animals would have been in larger cages, or even just on leashes if possible,” she said. “I understand they need a way to keep them there, but it made me feel bad for the animals that were just stuck in pretty small cages,”

When asked about coming to more events on campus if they were similar to “UCM Bought a Zoo”, both Richardson and Carter agreed that they would enjoy going to similar events.  

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