By TIM CLEVELAND
As he does about 1,000 times a year at libraries, schools, day cares, birthday parties and company picnics, Jungle Terry Sullivan put on another performance of his Jungle Terry and Friends show, this time on July 11 at Boardman library.
Sullivan’s show lasts from 45 minutes to an hour, but can be lengthened or shortened depending on the needs of his client. Jungle Terry said his love of working with animals runs in his family.
“My mom [Janice Sullivan],” said Sullivan, who lives in Ashtabula. “She basically rescued wild animals ever since I was a kid. We’ve always had wild animals in our home. That’s kind of what we’ve always done. Back in the late ‘80s your choices for a birthday party was a magician or a clown, and I said, ‘God, I’ve got such a great group of animals. Maybe the kids would like this for their birthdays.’ We started in the late ‘80s and have been going since.”
Sullivan said his children do the majority of the animal training, due to the fact the animals are in close contact with children for his shows.
“I bring out about a dozen animals,” he said. “The kids will have a chance to see and touch everything we bring along. It’s a hands-on type program. I also perform exciting educational ways to learn about animals.”
Sullivan brings 12-15 animals to each performance, giving children a chance to learn about them all.
“They learn quite a bit,” said Terry, who said he gets his animals from friends and family. “They get entertained at the same time. They learn about a dozen animals.”
Linda Rankin of Boardman brought her 8-year-old son Willy to the show.
“He wanted to see him,” she said. “It’s a library program and he comes to borrow books, too. It’s an all in one thing.”
Sullivan said his animals breeding keeps him in stock all the time.
“I’ve got a lot of animals that have babies every few years,” he said. “We’ve always got something new and exciting.”
Anyone wishing to book Jungle Terry for a show can go to jungleterryandfriends.com or call 1-888-5-JUNGLE.