MONROEVILLE On Sept. 14, the Monroeville FFA officer class, and small animal care class traveled to Wayne County, where the Mt. Hope exotic animal sale was held. Mr. Weber adviser of the trip and the Monroeville FFA has sent his classes to this trip for about 12 years now.
"I love taking students on this trip. It's not only fun, its a great experience for them to learn about and see the different animals at the sale, and the crazy amount of money that's charged for them." The class left at 8 a.m. and while some enjoyed the extra hours of sleep, others stayed up and listened to Mr. Weber's stories of past trips to the animal sale.
The list of animals at the sale ranged from parrots to peacocks, camels, deer, horses, zebras, longhorns, buffalo, pythons, lions, tigers, fox, wolves, leopards, skunks, badgers, porcupines, sloth, bushbabys, and monkeys. Some students on the trip were able to pet and hold a pet monkey. Jordan Hammons, who spent time with the monkey, said, "He(the monkey) was really cute, I couldn't help but wish I could take him home, that is until, I was told how much they wanted for him, which was six thousand dollars, suddenly he wasn't so cute."
Shawn Barre had an experience himself. He was in the reptile room. "I was really creeped out, I hate snakes, that's definitely something I don't understand why someone would want as a pet." Snakes ranged fro 6 inches, to 15-feet long. There were gardner snakes, black rat snakes, albino pythons, and cages full of mice and crickets to feed them.
For lunch the group traveled down the road to Yoder's Kitchen an Amish restaurant that everyone seemed to approve of as they took several trips up to the buffet and back. Olivia Gates commented " There's just something about the perfection of Amish cooked food. I've never had creamier, smoother mashed potatoes in my life."
Members were able to learn about how these kinds of animals are cared for. Some even seen animals they had never seen before, like Shawn who was pretty impressed with the zebras. They learned about what it costs for these animals, that even if some of the students could have afforded, their parents would probably not permit them to bring an exotic animal home.
Airrin Perruchon, reporter