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The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Tanganyika animals take over the Rhatigan Student Center

Allison Campbell
Taylor Craig directs Quilliam the African Crested Porcupine to do tricks for a Group of WSU students enticing him with bits of sweet potato.

An array of wildlife animals roamed the Rhatigan Student Center, giving students and other passersby the chance to meet and pet the animals. 

On Wildlife Wednesday, two employees from Tanganyika Wildlife Park traveled to campus with four exotic animals: an African crested porcupine, a three-banded armadillo, a sulcata tortoise and a two-toed sloth. Each animal was featured for 30 minutes to ensure all had their time to get pets or give high-fives. 

Students lined up for a chance to pet the animals in the designated area. A small group of students were able to get an up-close experience for each ambassador animal, and then a new group would cycle through. 

Taylor Craig, an animal experiences specialist at Tanganyika, handled animals and talked to students. In her role, she usually handles interactions between the guests and animals.

Quilliam the porcupine searches for treats as Taylor Craig tells a group of students facts about African Crested Porcupines. Quilliam was born and raised at Tanganyika, and has been an animal embassador for 8 years. (Brianna Cook)

“We get to work with lots of animals, which is my favorite part, but we’re the ones that do things like meet and greets or education stuff,” Craig said.

Before each event, employees traveling with the animals conduct study sessions, where they catch up on fun facts through shared Google Docs and research of their own. 

Credit for the Wichita State event belongs to Vanessa Bell, the director of marketing for the Rhatigan Student Center, who found online that Tanganyika offers opportunities for their team to bring animals and educate people about them. 

“I thought college students might like the chance to interact with animals they might get to, or they may not make it all the way to Goddard to Tanganyika,” Bell said.

Tanganyika offers meet and greets like the event at the RSC as well as presentations for larger audiences. More information about Tanganyika can be found on its website.

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About the Contributors
Piper Pinnetti
Piper Pinnetti, Reporter
Piper Pinnetti is a reporter for The Sunflower. Pinnetti previously designed content for The Sunflower's Instagram. Pinnetti is a junior at Wichita State, majoring in journalism with the hopes of pursuing a career in writing. Pinnetti uses she/her pronouns.
Brianna Cook
Brianna Cook, Photographer
Brianna Cook is a second-year photographer for The Sunflower. She is a sophomore biology major from Wichita, Kansas. When not taking photos, Cook enjoys leather working and after graduation, hopes to work for the park service. Cook uses she/her pronouns.
Allison Campbell
Allison Campbell, News Editor
Allison Campbell is one of the news editors for The Sunflower. Campbell is a junior pursuing a journalism and media production degree with a minor in English. Campbell hopes to pursue a career in writing or editing after graduation. They use any pronouns.

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