Animal Rentals Blog


  1. MONKEYING AROUND IN COLLEGE

    September 20, 2012 by Mindy the Monkey

    Dad and I stay pretty busy all year long doing hundreds of different animal shows at parties, fairs, festivals and other events, but our real cross-country traveling starts in the fall with our college tour.   Sometimes we are on the road for weeks at a time driving from campus to campus before getting back home for a few days.  I love getting to see so much of the United States and meeting so many different people from all different places.

    College campuses are really cool – kind of like a whole little town within another town.  There’s usually a cafeteria or coffee shop to eat in, a bookstore to shop in, dorms to live in, a gym to exercise in, an auditorium to see plays and concerts in, and thousands of people from all over the world.  Most colleges have sports teams that you can cheer for, and lots of them also have fraternities and sororities and other social clubs. There is always something fun and exciting going on.

    Most monkeys and some people never get to see any colleges, but I am lucky that I have been to many of them.  Just within the past two months dad and I have traveled to Iowa, Virginia, North and South Carolina, Florida, Texas, Georgia and Illinois…and there’s lots more to come over the next few months.

    When we go to a college, we always set up in a big area with plenty of room for all the students and faculty that come to meet us. Everyone gets to meet and interact with me and all of my animal friends, while dad teaches the students about us, conservation, and responsible animal ownership.  It’s always great fun to see who is brave enough to pick up my friend Cuddles the tarantula first, or hold Purse the alligator. It’s kind of like a big party and everyone has a great time – the people and the animals!  Maybe one day I’ll get to meet you at one of our college entertainment shows.


  2. TERRIFYING TARANTULAS

    September 12, 2012 by Mindy the Monkey

    When dad and I do our animal shows, animal displays, events and parties, people have lots of different reactions to my exotic animal friends.  Last week I told you that everyone loves Olivia the Opossum because she is so sweet and gentle.  This week I’m going to tell you about one of the scariest members of our traveling family, Cuddles the Tarantula.

    Cuddles is a Chilean Rose-Haired Tarantula.  She is about as big as a human hand – about 5 inches – which makes her very intimidating.  She always causes quite a commotion wherever we go.  Lots of people scream and jump when they see her, and very few people are brave enough to touch her or hold her. The really funny thing is that Cuddles is actually very calm and gentle.  She enjoys walking on people’s hands and arms, and will sometimes just sit quietly on your palm or shoulder.

    The thing about Cuddles that people are most afraid of is being bitten by a tarantula, because they’ve heard that it can kill you. While it’s true that tarantulas are venomous, a bite from one is kind of like a mosquito bite or a bee sting – more annoying than deadly. A black widow or brown recluse spider is much more dangerous than a tarantula. Besides that, tarantulas rarely bite.  Their first defense is to scrape little barbed hairs from their belly that irritate your skin and can cause a rash and itching.  Of course, any animal can bite, so you always have to be respectful of them.  But, at least as far as tarantulas are concerned, you really don’t have to be scared of them.

    When people finally get the courage to touch or hold Cuddles, they are usually surprised at how fun and friendly she is.  Also at how it almost tickles as she walks across their skin.  And how she seems more like a family pet than a scary insect.  So if you ever get the chance to meet Cuddles or another tarantula, be brave and hold her.  You’ll be glad you did and your friends will be amazed!


  3. PLAYING ‘POSSUM

    September 6, 2012 by Mindy the Monkey

    One of the things that people love the most about our animal shows and animal displays is that they get to touch, pet and hold exotic animals.  Everyone has a different favorite for different reasons.  But one thing that everyone who meets her can agree upon is that my friend Olivia, the Virginia Opossum, is the sweetest and gentlest of all my animal friends.

    Olivia was hand-raised from the time she was just a tiny baby by my friend Mark, one of the trainers who works and travels with me and dad.  Baby opossums are born in their mother’s pouch, and spend a couple of months nestled all snug and safe inside. When they come out, they travel around by clinging to their mama’s back.  It’s really cool to see all the babies riding on a mama opossum!  So baby opossums are naturally clingy and cuddly.  Wild opossums eventually grow out of that stage, but because Mark spent hundreds of hours raising and training her, Olivia is still very sweet and cuddly, even as an adult.  She loves to be held just like a baby.

    When wild opossums are threatened they play dead in order to discourage their predators.  Olivia can be very still and quiet and not move for hours at a time. That is amazing to me because I don’t like to sit still for even five minutes! Another thing about her that’s really neat is that she has a prehensile tail, just like I do.  She uses her tail kind of like an extra ‘hand’ to help her climb and balance and hold onto things.  Even though we use our tails in similar ways, we are not related. Opossums are marsupials, so Olivia is more like a cousin to a kangaroo than a monkey.  She even has a pouch, too.

    Olivia loves traveling with me and dad to all our different events and college lectures.  Because she is so calm and relaxed, she enjoys riding in the car all across the country.  And her favorite thing is meeting and being held by lots of new people – curling up in their arms and laying her head on their chests while they stroke her soft fur.  Everyone loves Olivia the Opossum, and I do too!


Animal Rentals, Inc., licensed by the USDA, is fully insured and has been in business for over 40 years.