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Michael Jackson's Snakes Find New Home in Fruita

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Updated: Sun, 02 Mar 2014 05:20:22 MST

FRUITA, Colo. - Warmer temperatures have allowed Fruita Children's Nature Center to bring in more animals, drawing in more visitors.

"In January we were very cautious because of the cold weather, we wanted to make sure that all of the animals were very safe when they came in because they are shipped to us, and we wanted to make sure no one was in a package where it ended up being too cold, so a lot of them have been arriving," said the Nature Center's Sunday manager, Bea Sullivan, "within the past two weeks we've gotten so many animals in here that we hadn't had before. The frogs have arrived and they are very small and the little kids they love getting to see the beautiful bright colors that they have. We did get the snakes recently within the past couple of weeks, several of them did come from Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch, they are very tame and they like to engage with people, and that is fun for the community to get to see."

Community members have been stopping by to see the new animals including local students hoping to work in a zoo one day.

"We've had lots of professors from CMU stop in, and we're so glad to have them, they have been bringing students with them. Today we had a 10 o'clock opening just for them, so they could see how we take care of the animals and what we do as our set up every single day," said Sullivan.

"This is the only opportunity for them to get this type of experience. A lot of biology students want to work in places like zoos and things like that so they are able to get this experience to help them get their foot in the door somewhere else," said Colorado Mesa University assistant biology professor, Dr. Eriek Hansen.

As the weather continues to get warmer, the Nature Center will be receiving a shipment of honey bees to educate the community about the important role they play in local orchard pollination.

For more information about the Children's Nature Center click here.

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