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Animals invade Independence



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Mark Rosenthal, from Animal Magic, introduces Bubo, a Eurasian Giant Eagle Owl, to Independence Elementary students last Friday. Photo by Wendi Reardon (click for larger version)
May 11, 2011 - Some students jumped while others were intrigued by the tarantula in Mark Rosenthal's hand last Friday.

But the Independence Elementary students couldn't take their eyes off the creature as Rosenthal, from Animal Magic, talked about the baby tarantula during the school's festival day centered around The Wonderful World of Animals.

Mouths dropped as he pointed to the clock on the gym's wall and said the tarantula will grow to be as big as the clock.

"Tarantulas aren't scary," said Rosenthal, adding he has worked on horror movies with the creatures, most recently with Wes Craven.

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Another tip he gave was tarantulas can't jump. They don't have bones like humans. If they fall they will die.

As Rosenthal lowered the baby tarantula into a container, he said the tarantula can go for a year without water or air.

Students learning at the assembly also were introduced to an Eurasian Giant Eagle Owl, Bubo.

Rosenthal added Independence Elementary was a special stop for the large and powerful bird. They were the first school to see and meet the 4-year-old owl.

The Eurasian Giant Eagle Owl is the largest type of owl and can easily crush bones. Their wing span can be up to six feet.

There were 15 other stops the students could visit to learn about animals Radical Reptiles, Rescue Dogs, Parade of Animals, Help Save Sea Turtles, Hidden in Plain Sight, Animal Sanctuary, Creative Creatures, Keeping Animals Busy, Extreme Animal Show, Dolphins, Follow the Rabbit, Circle of Life, Horses Who Help from O.A.T.S., ABCs of Bees and meeting animals from the Raymond Family Farm.

~Staff Writer Wendi Reardon

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