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Monday October 20, 2014
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Kangaroos on Ann Arbor-Saline Rd.

 

continued

Like Al, many of the animals are rescues. Slo Poke the sloth was found in a trailer park, while Benson and Miehiera, the arctic foxes, were poor pet choices for their owners circumstances. Two ball pythons were found in a Dumpster, other pythons and iguanas were left behind in U-M dorm rooms.

Steve and Kim's multiple responsibilities--overseeing the animals and volunteers; maintaining and creating facilities; and running programs, events, and tours--leave little time for fundraising. Most of the conservancy's support comes from Animal Kingdom and Creature Comforts, with Animal Kingdom also providing vet services. But the conservancy benefits from in-kind donations, including fresh fruits and vegetables from Whole Foods and occasional building materials and discounts from Lowe's for specific projects. Chelsea Lumber also gives occasional discounts. Idexx Labs donates all lab services. Unsolicited gifts and a few small grants add a little more to the coffers. The conservancy's tours, events, summer camps, and on-site and off-site educational programs also add income.

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All the education programs involve human-animal interaction; a recent program at Google included two vans of select animals, along with Steve and volunteers. A preschool program began in January. The popular weeklong summer camps give elementary school kids the chance to learn about and meet the conservancy's more than seventy-five species of animals, while taking on responsibilities such as building salamander habitats.

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