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Plenty of Gasps, Laughs at Animal Show

May 10, 1990

Students at the Exotic Animal Training and Management Program at Moorpark College get plenty of opportunities to share what they know about their charges.

Regularly scheduled animal shows are held at 3 p.m. each Sunday at the animal compound's outdoor stage, 7075 Campus Park Drive, at the west end of California 118. Admission is $2 for adults, $1 for children 12 and under. Special birthday shows can be scheduled in which a llama, baboon, performing seal and a variety of animals are part of an ensemble cast of entertainers. Special shows for classes of schoolchildren can also be arranged. The animals have appeared at grand openings and other special events. Call 378-1441 for additional information and rates.

At a recent presentation for nearly 200 kindergarten children, the youngsters gasped at a vulture and a few let out some "yuks" and "oohs" when Kim Smith, the trainer, said the birds are bald so that they don't get bloody and dirty when they stick their heads inside a carcass. Melissa Dawson, 3, said she liked the sheep the best. But not all children are as easily impressed.

Lynne Doria, the program's assistant director, recalled the time a mother in Beverly Hills was planning a party for her young son. "She put the boy on the phone so that I could tell him all the animals we were bringing," Doria said. "I told him, 'We'll have a sea lion and a llama and a pony' and all these other great animals. All he said was, 'Oh, no elephant?' "

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