Home for your Pet

Unique animal show at the Swaner EcoCenter displays the ‘Survival of the Slowest’

A juvenile sloth clings to a fluffy pillow held by Minor Ray’s Character Centre founder Paul “Little Ray” Goulet at the Swaner EcoCenter. The sloth is aspect of the “Survival of the Slowest” show that opens Saturday. The show will also attribute eastern fox snakes, bearded dragons and a Russian tortoise.
Scott Iwasaki/Park History

Animal fans have the opportunity to get up-close and particular with an array of slow-relocating creatures, such as an jap fox snake, a bearded dragon, Russian tortoise and a pair of sloths, when the Swaner Protect and EcoCenter opens the “Survival of the Slowest” show Saturday.

The bilingual interactive exhibit, presented by Minor Ray’s Nature Centre and Exhibitions, will clearly show as a result of Jan. 9, and characteristics 18 species of animals that demonstrate there are in some cases pros to not remaining huge and quick, reported Paul “Little Ray” Goulet, founder and CEO of Minimal Ray’s Nature Centre and Exhibitions.

“Survival of the Slowest’ appears to be like at the module on health, and what does it mean to be match?” Goulet explained. “It doesn’t necessarily mean staying significant and sturdy. It usually means that you’ve adapted to your natural environment.”

Although there is a benefit to getting huge and solid like the elephant and rhinoceros, dimension can also be a drawback, in particular if there is a lack of food items, in accordance to Goulet.

“That’s a person of the tips powering the show, that explores the counterintuitive survival strategies of the animals we have,” he claimed.

The horned frog is a person of the vibrant creatures in the “Survival of the Slowest” show that is open at the Swaner EcoCenter.
Scott Iwasaki/Park File

The exhibit at the EcoCenter measures 2,500 square feet, and consists of 15 habitats and information and facts boards, Goulet claimed.

“We desired to make the habitats as substantial as we can and in shape them in a fair place,” he claimed. “Every time we construct the screen, we build them a very little in different ways, and we are frequently striving to strengthen. We want to make absolutely sure they are viewable for persons, so it is a equilibrium of generating retreats in which animals can go and get away, but continue to have men and women see them.”

Keepers will be on hand throughout small business several hours to speak about the animals and make it possible for site visitors to contact and maintain them, mentioned Hunter Klingensmith, the EcoCenter’s visitor practical experience coordinator.

“We will also give non-public animal encounters, where by persons can guide team appointments just after hrs for family members and friends with the keepers to get some a single-on-one time with the animals,” she mentioned.

Other animals that are component of the exhibit contain basilisks and hedgehogs.

A Russian tortoise reveals how its entrance legs shield its head when he retreats back again into his shell. The public will have prospects to appear at and touch the exotic animals that are element of the “Survival of the Slowest” show at the Swaner EcoCenter.
Scott Iwasaki/Park Report

Goulet established Minor Ray’s Nature Centre in Ottawa, Canada, with his spouse Sheri 26 yrs ago, immediately after doing in-individual animal presentations at different universities.

“I wished to go into educating, and when I was in large university, I volunteered to go into educational institutions and converse about pet reptiles to get experience for my resume,” Goulet explained.

A couple of years afterwards, when he was at school, Goulet received a call from a teacher who remembered one particular of his presentations.

“They remembered that I had some reptiles and requested me to arrive give a presentation to their course,” he reported. “I did one particular demonstrate, and the future day seven other instructors called me to see if I would do some presentations in their classes.”

Just one thing led to yet another, and in 2000, the Goulets opened their 1st zoo centre in Ottawa.

Quickly afterwards, Goulet began getting calls from the British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to assistance them retrieve and treatment for seized and confiscated animals.

“We ended up the initially firm in Canada to import alligators back into the United States,” he reported. “People would have alligators as pets, and the animals would expand way too large to preserve. So we began shifting them back again to Arizona and North Carolina.”

Currently, Fortunate Ray’s Mother nature Centre, which also has a division in Syracuse, New York, is the premier exotic-animal rescue corporation in Canada, and one particular of the most significant in North The us, according to Goulet.

“We had to be resourceful in obtaining further income streams to help our rescue endeavours and the zoo, so we commenced exhibitions,” he mentioned. “In 2008, we had our 1st entire-scale museum show, and we have been touring exhibits in the U.S. considering the fact that 2014.”

Paul “Little Ray” Goulet, founder and CEO of Tiny Ray’s Nature Centre and Exhibitions, takes advantage of a tree branch to take a chameleon out of a display screen scenario at the Swaner EcoCenter. Goulet is in town to set up the interactive “Survival of the Slowest” unique animal exhibit that opens Saturday.
Scott Iwasaki/Park Record

The Swaner Preserve and EcoCenter had presently solid a relationship with Minor Ray’s Mother nature Centre, when they collaborated on bringing the “Nature’s Ninjas” exhibit to city in 2019, Klingensmith mentioned.

“We originally fulfilled Paul at a museum convention and he was thrilled to occur to Park Town,” she stated. “So when we listened to about the “Survival of the Slowest’ show, we understood we experienced to get it.”