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Michelle's Menagerie: A Wild Time for Derry

By Courtney Clark

Michelle's Menagerie has been delighting Derry children and adults for more than two decades. The live animal show includes thirteen different programs as part of the exotic traveling zoo. The programs are educational yet fun, resulting in a memorable experience for all involved.

Michelle DeBye starting combining education with excitement in 1989. The Wildlife Educator enjoys teaching others about the importance of animals and their place in the world. DeBye travels to events such as after-school programs, birthday parties, assisted living facilities, fairs, libraries, nursing homes, and more. Although most of the programs are not to be confused with a petting zoo, the Menagerie is nevertheless an unforgettable addition to any occasion.

DeBye offers thirteen different shows for community education and enjoyment. Derry residents can learn about animals as part of African Adventure, American Animals, Awesome Australia, Beautiful Birds, Bugs for Breakfast, Desert Animals, Farm Animal Fun, Mostly Mammals, Rain Forest Animals, Really Reptiles, Savanna Animals, Totally Touchable, or Woodland Wonders. DeBye says kids love the shows because "most children are fascinated with animals and love seeing them up close and love learning interesting facts about them."

For those looking for a petting zoo-type of show, Totally Touchable is ideal. Designed for audiences of twenty members or less, animals include the bearded dragon, a dove, a ferret, a rabbit, and more. DeBye's website explains Totally Touchable "is an excellent program for any small group wanting to learn about pet care." Farm Animal Fun teaches about the significance of farms "as well as wild animals that are either helpful or harmful to the farm animals and crops."

Among others, kids and adults can see a prairie dog, a hedgehog, a turtle, and a snake. African Adventure is another awesome program that teaches about African and Madagascan animals such as the uromastyx, the partridge, and a ball python and their habitats.

The Menagerie's testimonials praise DeBye's presentation as education, age-appropriate, and interesting. One reviewer says, "I am still amazed that our thirty preschool aged children sat quietly, listening and participating for the entire 50 minute show," while another commends DeBye on her "clear and respectful approach" with students while teaching "empathy and respect of animals." Many clients are repeat customers, which attests to the quality of DeBye's shows.

Michelle's Menagerie is an excellent choice for events in the Derry community. With several shows from which to choose, adults and children of all ages will have a wild time learning something new.

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About The Author

Courtney Clark graduated from Flagler College with a BA in English and Creative...

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