'Out in the wild': Rainforest program comes to Troy
TROY - Trouble came to Troy Monday.
So did Pee-Wee.
Trouble and Pee-Wee were the names of two macaws who were part of "The Rain Forest," a program that was presented live on stage at Memorial Auditorium.
They and other birds soared in the air over the audience and showed off onstage.
"What wonderful icons for the tropical rainforest," said the host, Mike Kohlrieser.
He had a volunteer, Alex Brown, 16, of Troy come onto the stage. Brown got a kiss from a macaw.
"It was cool," he said. "I liked it. I wanted to do it again."
Children and adults laughed at the antics of the birds onstage, especially when Kohlrieser had a parrot say things like "how are you?" and "hello."
"If he gets too loud, too disruptive, he has to go to bed," Kohlrieser said.
"You try to behave yourself," he told the bird.
He noted that the macaws are very smart and adaptable, with strong beaks. He showed off some of their physical prowess.
Kohlrieser also had a red-tailed boa constrictor.
He brought five children from the audience on stage to hold the snake. One of the children apparently didn't want to get too up close and personal with the reptile. While the other children held the boa constrictor, the boy stood to the side and looked on.
Steve Brion, elementary principal at W.R. Croman Primary School, said the program was in Troy about 10 years ago, and he suggested it be brought back this year. He said the group that puts on the show is a non-profit organization dedicated to saving the rainforest.
The show started off with music and lighting effects as shadows played on the backdrop, which resembled a rainforest.
Then, the various threats to the rainforest were mentioned, along with some discussion about the danger of animals becoming extinct.
The show was meant to draw attention to the plight of the rainforest.
Of the animals, Kohlrieser said, "if people see how beautiful they are, how intelligent they are, people will be more compelled, more willing to do things for them out in the wild."
Eric Hrin can be reached at (570) 297-5251; email: email@example.com.