Parakeet Jungle first step in bringing back area safari park

Monday, November 30, 2009

A store specializing in parakeets has opened inside West Park Mall, but its owners say it's just the start of reviving a former safari park.

Across from Pasta House, Parakeet Jungle offers customers a chance to walk through an enclosed caged jungle that houses more than 270 parakeets. Inside the cage, customers can interact and feed the birds for a small fee.

In addition to the retail side of the business, Parakeet Jungle also offers a variety of birds for sale, as well as cages, gravel, T-shirts, toys, feed and more.

"We have some friends who also have a similar exotic animal exhibit, but it's outside," said Vicki Lantz, who owns Parakeet Jungle with her husband, Todd. "So I thought, 'Why not get the parakeets out of this winter weather and inside the mall?'"

Lantz has plans for expanding beyond Parakeet Jungle.

In the spring her family plans to reopen Lazy L. Safari Park at 2763 County Road 618. The park has been closed for a few years. Among the animals on display will be kangaroos, wallabies, tortoises, zebras, llamas, porcupines, ibex and, my favorite, the emu.

You can learn more about Parakeet Jungle by calling 334-7003 or visiting parakeetjungle.com. More information about the Lazy L. Safari Park can be found at www.lazylsafari.com.

* A look back on Global Entrepreneurship Week: More than 1,100 students, mostly from Southeast Missouri State University, along with members of the public recently attended the Global Entrepreneurship Week on campus. Among the highlights of the week were locally and nationally known speakers and a focus on innovative ways to protect the environment through a competition of 42 teams.

The week ended with the Imagine It! Innovation Challenge. Fifty-five teams involving 175 students attempted to get the most value possible out of ordinary polystyrene shopping bags. Teams chronicled their efforts in a three-minute video that was judged for teams that fit into one of five categories. Each of the five winning teams received $1,000.

Dr. James Stapleton, director of the Southeast Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, said it was a satisfying experience to see the students coming together from different backgrounds and career interests.

"As young people face the prospects of a prolonged weak job market and extremely competitive global economy, entrepreneurship is becoming a way of life," Stapleton said. "The events during Global Entrepreneurship Week provide individuals an opportunity to learn from successful and inspiring entrepreneurs, and practice the innovation process. It also gives them an opportunity to begin thinking about entrepreneurial ideas of their own and to learn the process involved in creating a new venture."

* Antique business coming to Main Street: A new antique store will open next year in downtown Cape Girardeau. Somewhere In Time, 108 N. Main St., will offer a range of inventory from Civil War-era furniture to retro items from the 1960s.

Paula Haas, who owns the antique and vintage store along with her husband, Mike, has worked in the business for 14 years but has always dreamed of owning her own antique store. She'll have that chance come Jan. 1.

"I want this to be a shop both men and women will enjoy, with something for everyone," Haas said. "We're hoping this will be an enticing store."

Somewhere In Time will be open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

* Jackson photography business relocates: Rebecca Moore's Photography has moved from 2370 U.S. 61 to 131 W. Main St. in Jackson. Owner Rebecca Moore said she learned of the building's vacancy and felt it would complement her line of work.

For more information about the photography studio, call 382-2642 or visit rebeccamooresphotography.com.

* Law firm opens: A personal injury law firm recently opened next to Qdoba Mexican Grill in the new strip mall at William Street and Silver Springs Road. Aaron Sachs & Associates, 3019 William St., focuses on helping people who were injured or disabled in auto accidents. The law firm also has branches in the Missouri cities of Columbia/Jefferson City, Joplin and Springfield. For more information, call 651-3333 or visit www.autoinjury.com.

* Hospital wins awards: Saint Francis Medical Center took home 12 Show-Me Excellent awards recently from the Missouri Association for Healthcare Public Relations and Marketing for excellence in healthcare marketing. Announced by the Missouri Hospital Association at its 87th annual convention and trade show, the awards recognize an institution's efforts to educate and inform the community about health-related issues and service. The Cape Girardeau hospital won three first-place awards for its employee flu shot campaign, 2008 annual report DVD and advertisement for its Family BirthPlace billboard.

* Ribbon cutting: The Cape Girardeau Area Chamber of Commerce will hold a ribbon cutting for Jones Heritage Farms at 1:30 p.m. today. The farm at 5839 Route W offers natural pork, chicken, eggs, lamb, beef and vegetables. Owned by Gerry Jones, the farm recently opened a market that sells products from local farmers.

Southeast Missourian business reporter Brian Blackwell may be contacted at 388-3628 or bblackwell@semissourian.com.<I>

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