(I’m only a week late with this post) This weeks Photo Challenge, Tour Guide, asks us “What do you love about where you live?” I love living near Moorpark College…and here’s why, it is the only community college in the U.S. (maybe even the world) that offers an Exotic Animal Training & Management program. You read that right! Walk anywhere on the 150 acre complex and you can hear the lion roaring, or the spotted hyena laughing, and many other animal sounds. I’ve even been at my favorite Chinese restaurant near the college and heard the animal sounds.

Once you enter the campus from the West side, turning right at the first signal and making another immediate right, you’ll be greeted by this sign.

WPC - Tour Guide Entrance Sign
The sign you’ll see once you make the right hand turn onto the campus

Once you’ve parked and head towards the admission booth, you’ll first see this sign.

WPC - Tour Guide Entrance Sign 2
The sign you’ll see on your way to the entrance

This is the new-ish “EATM” building. I don’t remember what year they built it, but it’s less than 9 years old.

WPC - Tour Guide EATM Building
EATM Building

Here is a panoramic view taken with my iPhone SE  from the building.

WPC- Tour Guide Panoramic View of Campus
Panoramic View of Campus

Entrance to see the animals (taken with iPhone SE).

WPC-Tour Guide Entrance to the Teaching Zoo
Entrance to the Teaching Zoo

To keep the animals from being bored, the USDA requires Behavioral Enrichment be provided daily for the animals. From what I saw, the student trainers were in the cages, or interacting with their assigned animal while the animal “played”.

WPC- Tour Guide Behavioral Enrichment Sign
Behavioral Enrichment Sign
WPC - Tour Guide Burrowing Hedgehog
This hedgehog was practicing burrowing on a paper towel tube
WPC - Tour Guide Tiger in Box
Doesn’t matter the size of the cat, they all seem to love boxes!

The blue crane below was funny. After taking pictures of one of the llamas out for a walk with its trainer, I continued walking down the walkway and heard this loud swooshing noise to my left. I glanced over and the blue crane was flying 2-3 feet off the ground. It flew past and stopped at the end of a building, noticed its trainers were not around, so it flew back to them. The male trainer had a cup with some food for the bird in it, he would give the bird some food and the bird walked along the pathway (just like a dog) with both trainers. You could tell that she is food motivated!

In the second photo, the image on the building wall is the wingspan of a California Condor compared to a Bald Eagle.

WPC - Tour Guide Blue Crane and Trainer
Delilah, the Blue Crane, and her Trainer
WPC - Tour Guide Blue Crane and Her Trainers
Delilah, the Blue Crane, and Her Trainers

Taking pictures during the time of day I was there was not the best lighting. Plus some areas I had to shoot through two sets of fences. That being said, here are some of the residents at the teaching zoo.

WPC - Tour Guide Llama 1
What a sweet face
WPC - Tour Guide Bald Eagle
Bald Eagle posing
Lion settling down for a nap
Lion settling down for a nap
Crested Gibbon
Crested Gibbon
WPC - Tour Guide Llama 2
Llama out for a walk
WPC - Tour Guide Eagle Feeding Time
Feeding time for the bald eagle
This spotted hyena didn’t want to pose for me
Hamadryas Baboon
Hamadryas Baboon
WPC - Tour Guide Laughing Kookaburra
Laughing Kookaburra catching some sun
Abyssinian Ground Hornbill Waiting to Play
Abyssinian Ground Hornbill Waiting to Play
Black-Handed Spider Monkey
Black-Handed Spider Monkey getting a drink of water
Vervet Monkey
Vervet Monkey

I have one more story. There are 3 ring-tailed Lemur’s at the zoo, 2 female and 1 male. They have to keep them separated because the 2 girls ganged up and beat up the male (had no idea they would do that) – at least that’s what was told to those of us watching the Lemurs. Watching the 2 female lemurs, all I could think about was the movie “Fierce Creatures”.

One of the female ring-tailed lemurs
One of the female ring-tailed lemurs

Here are some miscellaneous pictures.

Expansion on the way
Mural on the side of one of the buildings
Red tail hawk performance

Links of interest:

Admission is $8 for adults and $6 for children and seniors. Animal shows are at 12pm and 2pm. For an additional $7, you purchase a “Behind the scenes tour” that is at 12:45pm and 2:45pm.

To see more photos of Tour Guide, click here.

Some of my favorites:

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