March 2013

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live In the Moment with Noelle Tarrant An animal enthusiast teaches through exotic encounters Photo by Shanna Wolf An Animal Affair Get an up close experience with Noelle Tarrant of Zoozort and her range of A chorus of ���Oohs��� and exotic creatures during presen���Aahs��� resonates from ontations at the Madison Kids lookers as a wide-eyed kinkaExpo on March 16 and 17 at jou swings from its tail, hooked the Exhibition Hall, Alliant Energy Center. around the arm of the vibrant and equally entertaining Noelle Tarrant. Unfamiliar with kinkajous? Leave it to Tarrant, a licensed animal exhibitor and owner of Zoozort, to enthusiastically introduce you to the exotic mammal. ���I have a lot of knowledge and great animals, and it���s amazing for me to be able to share that,��� says Tarrant An animal lover since she can remember, Tarrant has spent the past 23 years familiarizing audience members with animals they didn���t even know existed. It���s a fitting role for Tarrant who, as a child, continually found herself in the mud collecting tadpoles and bullfrogs, or in search of battered birds and stray cats. ���I���d bring home anything I could possibly go home with and nurse it back to health,��� she recalls. After becoming a nursery school teacher, Tarrant began inspiring an appreciation for animals in others by bringing in Tupperware containers of hatching snakes, tortoises and more. Her menagerie of exotic animals now runs the gamut from cockroach to wallaby, and Tarrant says she finds great joy in her day-to-day interactions with the animals she affectionately calls her ���babies.��� Though most of us shack up with a simple cat or dog, Tarrant shares her living quarters with a fennec fox. ���I���m a servant to them, but I enjoy that very much. It���s very relaxing to me, I can clear my mind,��� says Tarrant. Back at center-stage, Tarrant captivates the crowd again, this time with a 15-foot python. For Tarrant, this is what it���s all about: allowing young and old alike the chance to step outside their daily lives and experience a taste of wild life from far away. ���Where else are you going to get up close and personal with something like that?��� she asks. ���Kelsey Bewick March 2013 11

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