Halloween was quite different this year for the animals and I. Instead of spending it back at home we packed our bags and headed to NYC where we visited our two favorite ladies: Kathie Lee and Hoda on “The Today Show.” We’ve been extremely fortunate and excited to work with both of them and to spread our message of conservation and responsible pet ownership. What was so exciting about this appearance though was that I was able to dispel common myths and misconceptions about Halloween Animals. Take a look at some of my favorite moments preparing for ‘TODAY’
What a lot of people don’t know is how much preparation goes into a national TV segment. It takes months of planning, prepping, and research to make sure the right animals are shown. All the animals chosen have to go through vet examinations to make sure they are happy, healthy, and fit! Here, our vet Dr. Koob is examining the Blood Python. (Take a look at the weight: 15.7lbs)!!!
Even though Charlotte our Rose Hair Tarantula doesn’t have fur or scales, she still has to get a check-up! Once the animals receive a ‘proper bill of health’ we can obtain the special permits needed to get into NYC.
On the road the animals are placed in special traveling quarters that are heated to ensure the animals stay at a warm, comfortable temperature. Sometimes I can’t resist taking a peek! Here Diesel the African Bull Frog is checking out the Wyoming landscape.
We have to make several stops along the way to check up on the animals. Some can prove to be messier than others. Diesel’s water had to be changed constantly!!! Here we both are in Nebraska where he was able to “stretch his legs!”
My favorite season is Fall and driving back East held no disappointments! The landscapes were complete with red, orange, and yellow colors…all indicating the changing of the seasons!
What no one expected was this: Snow! The unexpected snow storm hit us in Pennsylvania and followed us all the way up to New Jersey. It caused severe power outages all across the area. Luckily we all arrived safely and had no issues losing power.
Some of the animals, like Naiche this Timber Wolf, already live back East. He and several other animals live at Howling Woods Farm in Jackson, NJ.
The farm has a full one acre enclosure that is dedicated to these magnificent animals. All of them were rescues and taken out of improper homes, where their owners had no idea how to properly care and house wolves and wolf hybrids.
It was extremely important for me to meet both Naiche and Samson before our segment on ‘TODAY.” Samson (pictured) is a wolf hybrid. Unfortunately, many people think that they make good pets. In reality they are extremely large animals that require A LOT of room and a very social atmosphere.
I would say the most stressful part of appearing on ‘TODAY’ is not working with potentially dangerous animals…It’s the crazy drivers! Take a look at the traffic headed straight for the city. Luckily we depart hours before the appearance to make sure we arrive safely and on time!
The exciting thing about this appearance was that it was filmed outside in the plaza! The set was incredible and enhanced the overall theme of “Misunderstood Halloween Animals.” Take a look for yourself http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/26184891/vp/45104171#45104171 A special thanks goes out to Howling Woods Farm, Reptile Adventures, Treasure Valley Reptiles, and the TODAY Staff…and to my Dad. I could not have found a better traveling buddy!