Primates and other creatures star in Worth
The Worth Park District’s Terrace Centre played host to creatures including a monkey and a chimpanzee last Friday at the district’s first ever “Mother-Son Rampage.”
Thirteen boys between 2 and 9 years old and their mothers attended the event, which included play time in bounce houses, refreshments and the highlight — an animal presentation by Monkeys and More Exotic Animal Rescue. Chicago residents Ed and Annette Parzygnat, who run the operation out of their home, use the shows as means of educating people about exotic animals and the potential dangers of keeping them as house pets.
The park district organized the event this after a successful daddy-daughter dance earlier in the year, according to district athletic supervisor Kara Jelderks.
“We thought it would be fun to even it out with something for the boys and moms,” Jelderks said. “We wanted to try something different, and we figured the boys would like the animal theme.”
Attendees got the chance to pet Tommy, a 30-year-old tortoise; Larry, a black-throated monitor lizard; and a bunny named Pat. Some of the boys who were feeling more adventurous let Terry, a Chilean rose tarantula, hitch a ride on their shirts and feed seed with their bare hands to a capuchin monkey named Ajax.
The star of the show was Lisa Marie, a 6-year-old chimpanzee. The chimp fascinated the youths as she did tricks and “answered questions” for Ed and Annette. Lisa Marie ate applesauce and a peanut butter sandwich like a person, and pointing at parts of her body when asked to identify them.
“I think it went really well,” Jelderks said after the one-hour show. “We’ll probably do it again next year and hopefully get a bigger turnout.”
Boys and their mothers enjoyed the interactive presentation.
“It was a good program,” said Gina Rocush of Worth. “It was very educational and my son really enjoyed it.”
Gill Pezdek thought the event was fun and educational.
“It’s something really cool that they put together,” Pezdek said. “It was a fun activity. It let them interact with other kids but learn too with the animal show.”