The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

Wild on campus: Sonoma State hosts Safari Encounters event

Wild+on+campus%3A+Sonoma+State+hosts+Safari+Encounters+event

Safari Encounters visited Sonoma State on Thursday, Jan.2, showcasing a variety of animals in Ballroom A of the student center from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The event drew a large crowd of students who observed nine different animals, including an albino crocodile, desert tortoise, Burmese python, African hedgehog, barn owl, skunk, South American sloth, armadillo, and a red kangaroo.

Sonoma State student Stellan Sigl, first-year business major, said, “I thought it was really cool, some of the animals I haven’t seen that close up before only like zoo’s so it was really cool to have an experience where you don’t have to go too far from campus and just see some exotic animals.” 

Safari Encounters, located locally in Rohnert Park, houses 150 animals totaling 140 different species. The organization travels across the United States, visiting schools and children’s hospitals, teaching people about animals, engaging in therapy sessions with children, and visiting hospitals. All proceeds contribute to the program’s rescue effort.

Brandi Blue, the owner of Safari Encounters said, “this is actually how we fund our rescue. Whenever we go offsite and do educational programs, the proceeds  go into our rescue and also sponsor therapy programs with children’s hospitals.” Blue emphasized the opportunity to connect people who may have seen the animals in zoos. Blue said, “to actually have one on one time with them and learn about them and also learn about the rescue stories, I think it’s really cool.” 

After the event, selected students were able to meet and pet some of the animals. Students lined up to pet the albino alligator and kangaroo, as well as to take pictures with the sloth.

The Associated Students of Sonoma State are responsible for organizing many events for the school, including Safari Encounters. Brittany Glor, a fourth-year bio/chem major, and member of the Associated Student Production, said, “it’s something that I feel like a lot of students would enjoy going to, we have never had safari animals on campus ever and it’s kind of awesome.” 

Mariah Atkins,  the program coordinator, who helps put together the events said, “we love building community and like creating different diverse fun environments for students to enjoy, and I thought this would be something fun for students, something different, something to make memories for students.” 

According to the Safari Encounters website, they are located on 2.5 acres of land in Rohnert Park, providing homes for rescue animals spanning from parrots to lemurs. 

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About the Contributors
Quinn Manning, Staff Writer
Quinn Manning is a third year communication studies major at Sonoma State.
Jena Hollister, Staff Writer
Jena Hollister is a third year communication major at Sonoma State.
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