Monkeys and opossums and snakes, oh my


Students may have wondered what was going on when they passed by several animals in the CUB’s Main Hall on Thursday, Oct. 4.

As part of Homecoming Week, the Activities Program Board invited “Mindy and Friends,” a group from Chicago, to visit SU for a day.

Their main attraction, a white-throated capuchin monkey named Mindy, fit in very well with this year’s Homecoming theme.

Along with Mindy, there were also other animals such as a Geoffroy’s cat, a chinchilla, a snake and a opossum.

Students had the opportunity to get pictures taken with Mindy and Olivia the possum, and students who were brave enough got their picture taken with the large boa constrictor.

When Bill Hoffman, the leader and owner of the Animal Rentals group, gave Mindy a break from posing for pictures he took the time to give students some interesting information and facts about her.

He informed students that Mindy is 6 years old, but intellectually she is that of a 22-month-old and emotionally that of a 2-month-old.


He explained that she is twice as smart as the oldest dog and about as challenging to take care of as a child.

When she was not posing for pictures, Mindy enjoyed her waffle and interacted with the students who stopped by to see her.

Austin Davis, a freshman at SU, had an interesting encounter with Mindy when she climbed up on his shoulder and showed interest in his orange juice bottle.

Davis was so intrigued by this adorable animal that he shared some of his orange juice with her in a small cup.

Mindy also caused a lot of laughter when she decided to take off students’ hats and drop them to the floor while sitting on their shoulders.

While Mindy was the main attraction for many students, Olivia the opossum attracted attention from others.

Mark Szafran, another lead trainer from the group, explained to students that he took Olivia in when she was only 1 month old after her mother was hit by a car.

He warned students that if they looked into her eyes they would fall in love with her, and many exclaimed that they did not want to let her go after holding her for a few seconds.

Szafran also informed students that not all possums are as friendly and docile as Olivia.

Also soaking up some attention at the CUB was Jesse James, a Geoffroy’s cat whose breed originates in South America.

They are often found in countries such as Bolivia, Brazil and Argentina.

Students were not allowed to pick Jesse James up and hold him, but they had the opportunity to pet him and take pictures of him as he paced around on a table placed in the Great Hall.

This Homecoming event organized by the Activities Program Board definitely proved to be a hit.

Students were thrilled to have their picture taken and interact with all of the animals.

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