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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Animal Adventures makes a wild appearance at UMass Boston

Animal+Adventures
Animal Adventures

On Thursday, Jan. 30 at 3 p.m., there was a cluster of people on the second floor of Campus Center. Onlookers stuck to the outsides of it to discover the focus at the center. Then, rising over the heads in the sunlight that streamed between the white pillars of Campus Center’s walls, was the beak and then the wings of a giant bird.
Ed Laquidara, 49, owns the Eurasian eagle-owl. He and the other handlers pulled animals from cages that walked, slithered, or crawled on tables in front of the accumulated crowd. There was a lynx, a young kangaroo, a monitor lizard, a chinchilla, a golden green-haired monkey, and more. Students circulated through the front of the group to pet the animals. There were sounds of cameras taking pictures, questions being asked, and Laquidara rattling off answers, sometimes with a monkey hanging off his shoulders or hair.
Laquidara and his wife Brenda are co-owners of Animal Adventures, New England’s largest exotic animal rescue and research center with close to “a thousand animals,” says Laquidara, “ranging from mice, to crocs, to kangaroos.” The majority of their exotic animals, they rescued, or received from owners who could not properly care for or want them. “Animals should never be bought on impulse,” he says.
But Laquidara says he was on the Massachusetts board that recently decided that true “chameleons, sugar gliders, and green tree pythons” were legal to own. Lauquidara is a proponent for exotic pet care, assuming that the proper research is done, and time and money are spent to fulfill the pet’s needs. He also says, “real animal trainers don’t put human emotions on animals,” which can lead to misunderstandings and injury to either pet or owner.
Animal Adventures has visited approximately 33 different schools, many in the New England area. Laquidara himself also travels with animals and gives lectures at events and institutions, over a hundred a year. His website, EdLaquidara.com, describes him as “presenting the information necessary to students so they can make choices that will positively affect the natural world in which we live,” and “it is his primary goal to create a more caring and compassionate stance about all living things and our environments.”
The Animal Adventures facility is located in Bolton, Mass. The costs to care for the animals is around “$1,600 a day” is subsisted by programs, visits from animals enthusiasts, and donations.
Laquidara says about a dozen people work there, but their numbers more than doubled during the summer. “Applicants should be flexible, energetic, motivated, and enjoy working with the public.” Anyone who is interested should email their application résumé to [email protected] or call 978-779-8988 for more information.