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Baby animals always a big hit with people, no matter the weather

April 8th, 2011 Posted in Arts and Life

Story and photos by Mariah Noble

WELLSVILLE — Despite snowy weather, the American West Heritage Center is holding their annual event, Baby Animal Days, as scheduled through Saturday.

“The weather definitely has affected it,” Administrative Assistant Karen Larson said. “But the crazy thing is that people are still coming and calling to ask if we’re open.” Larson said last year the center had more than 15,000 people come out for the three-day event.

Brittany Molen, a senior at Mountain Crest High School, has worked at Baby Animal Days for the last two years. “I come in for a lot of events like the Celtic Festival and Fall Festival,” she said. “But seeing all the kids at this is fun. It’s fun to watch them with the animals.”

Kelsie Laub, a senior majoring in elementary and special education at Utah State University, agreed that Baby Animal Days is different than other events.

“It’s a different audience for sure,” Laub said. “We have it during spring break so all the kids can come. Everyone loves baby animals, and other events cater to a different audience.”

Kristy Herzog of Newton has brought her goats to the event for the last three years. “A lot of kids don’t get to see these kinds of things at all,” Herzog said. “So I love seeing the kids’ faces when they learn about goats.”

Though there are many activities and animals at the event, Molen said the baby bears are one of the most popular exhibits.

“I know people enjoy the train rides, the bears and the gun shows,” Molen said. “I really like the baby bears because they’re really cute.”

Baby bears and their trainers have traveled from the wild animal park in Idaho to the event for the past two years. This year there are two sets of triplet cubs on the road with staff from Yellowstone Bear World. The bears on the road weigh from seven to 12.5 lbs, Animal Collections Manager Stacy Pew said.

“It’s fun to visit with the people here and share,” Pew said. “There are 45 bears at home, and we bring six on the road with us. One set is three months old.”

Mindy Robison, a volunteer staff member with the group, said she enjoys coming to Baby Animal Days. “We just get to play with the animals,” Robison said. “That’s what’s fun, just playing with the cubs.”

Aside from the bears, Baby Animal days has other activities like a Lil Buckaroo Rodeo, sheep shearing, and other baby animals.

Seven-year-old Ella Manning attended her first Baby Animal Days Thursday afternoon. “I love seeing the bunnies because they’re really, really, really cute,” Manning said.

Larson said she feels the event is important for kids today. “Kids just don’t know how the farm works anymore,” Larson said. “It’s really a good hands-on learning experience, and who doesn’t love animals?”


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