Mixer takes a walk on the wild side

Zoo Sanctuary hosts Folsom Chamber event
By: Don Chaddock Telegraph Managing Editor
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What do a bank and monkeys have in common? If you attended the recent Folsom Chamber of Commerce mixer, you’d know Tri-Counties Bank co-hosted the event with the Friends of the Folsom Zoo. Volunteer docents at the Folsom Zoo Sanctuary stayed late to help give chamber members a private, after-hours tour of the facility. Jeff Boone, president of the Friends of the Folsom Zoo, welcomed the business men and women. “The zoo is a very special place,” Boone said. “It’s called a zoo sanctuary for a reason. It focuses on giving animals that would otherwise be destroyed, another chance.” He said unlike other zoos, Folsom doesn’t prod the animals to entertain visitors. “The animals are allowed to live naturally,” he said. “They are not forced to go out on exhibit.” Mary Cobb, a docent, showed off Soloman, a prehensile-tailed skink. “He’s very friendly,” she said, as people crowded around her table set up outside the monkey habitat. Docent Lannie Coch led two donkeys around by a leash. Meanwhile, Cory Antilla, another docent, explained how wolves, which can no longer be found in the wild in California, help keep herds of elk and deer fit. “These animals are very important,” she said. “They take down the sick in a herd, keeping it healthy. They definitely serve a purpose.” She said wolves were hunted to the brink of extinction in the early 1900s. “Little Red Riding Hood lied (about wolves),” Antilla said. For chamber member John Deatherage, the tour was a reminder of what there is to do so close to home. “This is great,” he said. “I haven’t been here in years. It’s changed since I was here last.” He said when family or friends come for a visit, he will try to take them to the zoo. “This is a local treasure you forget about,” Deatherage said. Holly Larson, of Folsom, was also thrilled with the private tour. “The zoo is my favorite,” she said.