Neighbors | Jessica Harker .Volunteer Noah walked around the Michael Kusalaba library allowing community members to pet a snake brought by Mark Kohlhorst July 29 during Mark's Ark live animal show.
Neighbors | Jessica Harker .Mark Kohlhorst held a small alligator July 29 at the Michael Kusalaba library for his live animal show.
Neighbors | Jessica Harker .A tree frog was stuck to Lacey's face by Mark Kohlhorst July 29 during his live animal show at the Michael Kusalaba library.
Neighbors | Jessica Harker .Children were able to pet a tree frog held by Chase at the Michael Kusalaba library July 29 during Mark's Ark live animal show.
Neighbors | Jessica Harker .Children were able to pet a live alligator held by Mark Kohlhorst July 29 at the Michael Kusalaba library.
By JESSICA HARKER
Mark’s Ark live animal show performed at the Michael Kusalaba library on July 29.
Mark Kohlhorst, the owner and operator of Mark’s Ark, brought eight exotic animals to the library for the performance.
“I have had animals my whole life,” Kohlhorst said. “I can’t remember a time that I didn’t have exotics.”
During the show, Kohlhorst showed community members a range of animals, including snakes, a chinchilla and even an alligator.
He had community members volunteer to assist him in bringing the animals around the room for everyone to see and pet.
Kohlhorst also shared facts about each animal throughout the show, including where they are from and what they eat.
“The education portion of every show is very important to me,” he said.
Kohlhorst has 32 years of experience in handling exotic animals, and has been running Mark’s Ark for 12 years.
“I have experience with a lot,” Kohlhorst said. “I deal with all kinds of animals.”
He said he started in the field by managing pet stores, but then attended Ohio State University for Biology and began working in zoos. After graduating, Kohlhorst moved back to his home state of Indiana where he worked in the Fort Wayne Zoo.
He worked with venomous snakes and spiders, as well as reptiles and small mammals.
Kohlhorst was also a professional diver at the zoo, working in the shark tanks.
“I only left the zoo because I got really interest in the education aspect,” Kohlhorst said.
It was this interest in education that Kohlhorst said motivated him to start his business. Now he spends his time driving across the country to perform shows.
He said he has traveled as far east as New York and as far west as Iowa for performances.
Kohlhorst said the majority of the work he does is for birthday parties, but that he will perform for any audience of any size or age.
For more information on Kohlhorst or his show, go to his website at www.marksanimals.com.