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Molly Shore Paloma Urbina, a second-grader at Edison...

April 23, 2003

Molly Shore

Paloma Urbina, a second-grader at Edison Elementary School, loves

animals, and said she takes good care of the fish and two birds she

has at home.

While waiting for the school's Earth Week endangered animals

assembly to begin Tuesday, Paloma said she was there to learn more

about animals because they're an important part of the Earth.

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Caring for the environment and ensuring that it will continue for

many generations is what Earth Week chairwoman Ilya Mindlin-Cox said

she hoped children would learn from the assembly.

"Man's part in taking care of the Earth is not just the planet,

but the animals as well," Mindlin-Cox said.

Trenda Renegar, education director of Wildlife on Wheels, told the

first- and second-graders that her organization never takes the

animals from their natural habitat. The Sunland wildlife preserve

provides permanent care for more than 50 species of mammals, birds,

reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates.

"We want wildlife to stay wild," she said. "The only way we get

animals is when for some reason they say, 'Help.'"

The organization rescues animals that are abandoned by their

owners or were injured in the wild and cannot survive on their own.

Using color posters, Renegar showed the children which animals are

threatened or endangered because of their diminished numbers.

Animal handler Mimi Greenberg brought out several animals,

including a California desert tortoise, which is on the endangered

species list.

Greenberg also showed them marmosets, small monkeys from the South

American rainforest, and a hybrid wolf-dog named Crystal.

When children get to see real animals, they are able to see the

animals' reactions to them, which has a much stronger effect on them

than a photo, Greenberg said.

Second-grader Aaron Read wants a pet. But after attending the

assembly, Aaron said he knows it is important to research which

animals are suitable for him.

"It can't be a wolf because they're too dangerous," he said.

Nevertheless, Aaron's favorite animal at the assembly was Crystal.

"I liked [her] best because she was furry and I like furry

animals," Aaron said.

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