Return to the Popcorn Zoo

The following is a letter from one of the attendees at a recent Animal Reiki class conducted by Bill Stevens. Bill had posted earlier about the first visit to the Popcorn Zoo. This is an account of a return visit by the same two people.

Dear Bill,

Again I want to thank you for an amazing day at Popcorn Zoo and especially for asking that we be allowed to go into the enclosures to see Princess the camel and the mountain lions!

I know you tried to be with us as much as possible, but I wanted you to get the “inside” story according to me!!

Some highlights:

CaesarSeeing Caesar the tiger strong and healthy’ still pacing, but chuffing and purring each time he reached the fence where we were standing.  He seemed to rub his face against the fence to let us know how content he was.  He did not mention feeling stressed about the noise of children to M at all this time;

The parrot in the cage at the office seemed sad, but he did not repeat his story about how someone “took” his wing, so he must have understood the last time we talked to him and explained to him that he was in an accident and it was injured and had to be removed;

There were 3 amazing highlights to our visit:

M and I were standing next to the indoor bird cages and she was giving Reiki to the small female white bird.  She said she was not doing well and was taking in a lot of Reiki.  One of the birds in that area was loudly squawking  and we were telling him to be more quiet and that he was going to be ok.  I walked around to the other side of the cages and one of the birds said “hello” – that was a shock because none of them were talking “out loud” before..then I walked around to see the squawking bird and he stopped and also said “hello” to me.  Then I walked around to check on M and the sick bird and she was feeling much better and doing a little dance and also said “hello”.  I was shocked!  M said they talk when I am around.

PrincessWhen I went in with Carol to see Princess the Camel I was in awe of her size and a little intimidated!  I have always loved camels and could not believe I was going to see one that close and with no fence!  When Carol walked right up to her I was shocked because I had no idea she actually can touch her!  Princess was lying down with her legs tucked under her and she still was the size of a car to me!  Princess reached up her massive head and began to rub her huge head against Carol’s body while Carol rubbed her.  I stood at a distance and was more than happy to just be there, but when Carol said I could come up to Princess and actually touch her I thought it was too good to be true!  To actually have contact with such a huge, beautiful creature was humbling..that she would actually allow a stranger to touch her.  I wondered if she remembered our animal communication session the last time I saw her!  I told M that if she had stood up I would have passed out from sheer excitement of being that close to her!!!

LanceAnother highlight was when we were allowed to go into the inner cage of 2 of the mountain lions.  The male (non dominant one) named Lance immediately ran up to the fence where M was kneeling down and began rubbing his face against the fence and making a lot of happy noises,  He immediately began telling her how happy he was and how wonderful it was to be fed and that he is not hungry anymore, on and on..Then the dominant female Gwen came up – she had been hanging back as would be her dominant nature to check things out from a distance at first before approaching.  When she came up to M she did the same face rubbing on the fence, but the male got a little possessive of his conversation he was having with M and slapped the dominant female a few times.  It got a little tense and we backed away.  It was amazing how the male was so happy to be able to find someone who could hear him talk that he was willing to show aggression against the dominant lion!   He kept saying to M ”oh, you can hear me?” and then told her how happy he was over and over.

PixieAnd the 3rd treat of the day for me was Pixie the little monkey!  When we saw her the last time she was shy and told us she did not like children and if we could please throw the peanuts on the top of the cage so they fall down into the cage instead of throwing them against the front of the cage, where they bounce off sometimes and fall to the ground and she can’t reach them!  She was very cute and sweet when we saw her then.  But this time she gave us an amazing gift!  We walked up to her cage and M called her name.  She came running over and really did seem to be thrilled to see us!  So much so that she sat down right in front of us and began to “perform”!  She would raise her eye brows up and down and with her flat top that alone was adorable!!  But she added a little tongue wiggle and placed both of her arms across her chest and stood on her hind legs and did a little dance which included ducking her head and putting it to one side and made a cute little noise.  This performance went on and on and it seemed the more we talked to her the more she played!

Pixie dancingAt one point I called Brother Bill and asked him to come over to see her and as soon as Pixie saw him, she stopped everything and turned into a very normal little money and walked to the back of the cage and started grooming herself.  She would not make eye contact and stayed there while we walked away.  Later before we left I walked up to her cage and there was a girl there who was also getting a “performance” and Pixie continued to perform when I walked up so we started talking and it turns out the girl used to work at the zoo and knows Pixie well and continues to visit her when she can.  She said Pixie does her act for people she knows and trusts, so she much have remembered M and I and that was our reward!

There was a sad moment when we were in the kennel and a very sweet looking younger yellow lab with cuts on his face was trying to tell M that a door hit him in the face, but she told me he was actually hit in the face with the door by his owner..  It broke my heart that he did not even know that his owner caused his pain, but I guess that is better for his heart in the long run.  I hope someone takes him home soon…

So again, thank you for allowing us to go with you and your animal Reiki class.  It was a privilege and an honor to be there.

Love,  K

An Incredible Trip To The Popcorn Zoo

I went to the zoo last week with two animal communicators who have extraordinary gifts. We visited Popcorn Zoo in Forked River, NJ spending time with an exceptionally compassionate man, John Bergman, who has been involved with the Humane Society for over thirty years and has helped create the zoo over this span of time as a variety of exotic and other animals came under his care.

I am completely indebted to the two animal communicators, who wish to be anonymous, for this brief submission and my sister, Agnes, who took pictures during our visit. I am going to let the conversations between the communicators and the animals tell their own story with an occasional picture. Enjoy!!

I am going to depict the conversations as received from Communicator M who is very attuned to what animals wish to communicate and Communicator K who has the gift to speak to the animal and be understood by them.

One of the first animals we met was the camel, Princess. It was a very hot and humid day and she had severe arthritis in her legs. She was just baking in the hot sun. And just looked totally thirsty

K: [Encouraging her to get some water] You must get some water for yourself.  Get up and get some water!

M: You fetch me some water please.

K: No, I can’t get inside to fetch you water, you must get up yourself.

M: [Slight movement of the head looking over at the water.]

K: You need to do better than that.  Go load up for the day.  [All to no avail – effort just too much.]

An Emu was strutting up and down along the cage and we were wondering what she was up to.

M: I want the red box people. Where are the red box people? [No one in our party had any red box filled with popcorn.]

People eventually came with popcorn but she did not have an interest in them as they offered her popcorn.

M: Look at how pretty I am!!

As she continued to strut up and down along the fence.

M:Where are the red box people?

Seemingly she just wanted admiration from the Red Box People.

Next we visited a horse.

M: I want some carrots!!

K:  I will go and find some carrots for you.

Later K told the manager about the horse’s wish for carrots who got in touch with one of his staff to get her some carrots.

M: My butt itches!

Bob the Macaw parrot was in a beautiful large cage at the office entrance and where the previous dedicated owner still visits him. He had often let him out of the cage when he was doing his work in the garden and one day the parrot had flown into a tool shed and somehow dislodged some tools which caused him serious injury and one of his wings needed to be amputated.

M: Things came crashing down. Things came crashing down. And they took my wing.

K: No one took your wing. When things came crashing down it injured your wing and it  had to be amputated.  This is what made you better.

Greta was a breeder who had all her puppies taken away from her and who escaped. She was brought to the attention of the Humane Society and John found it very difficult to catch her. It took many weeks and much patience. She was very distrustful of everyone. John kept her by his side in his office and she has become very attached to him.

M: She is afraid that you will leave her. When you go home at night she is very fearful that you will not return.

Later the Manager wrote us and told us Greta was feeling more comfortable every day.  He had more staff walk her so that she would get use to others but still does not like to leave his side. But he did have her with another dog and she was able to keep her focus on that dog and-not where he was. Those things seem to be the key and-he thinks he has found her a forever home.

A chicken was walking around the zoo grounds looking for peanuts.

M: Where are the peanuts? [Looking for peanuts although it is making her feathers fall out.]

K: [Trying to give her popcorn.]

M: That’s popcorn. Where are the peanuts?

K: Referred to her as a rooster.

M: Quite insulted. [M tells K that she’s a chicken.]

K: Referred to her as a chicken

M: Still insulted. [Oops! She wants to be referred to as Miss Hen.]

K: Only when she was called Miss Hen, did she look at K.

Just three weeks previously the lioness, Nyla, had lost her companion, Porsche. She was seriously ill and when they decided to do X-rays and blood work to determine the extent of her illness and a possible way to treat her, she died in the process.

M: Porsche wants to thank you for letting her go.

M. Nyla just wants security and sameness – doesn’t want any changes right now.  Does not want a new friend now.

Cesar is from the same family as Dante, another Tiger in the Zoo. He was in need of special care which he was able to receive at a sanctuary at Texas A & M before coming to the Popcorn Zoo where he continued to improve daily.

He is the youngest Tiger at the Zoo. Many kids were surrounding the fence where Cesar was and just being kids but Cesar was not happy with them. He began pacing up and down along the fence.

M: I don’t like things thrown at me. [Kids were throwing popcorn into the fence.]

M: Nervous at the loud, high voices of the children and was pacing because the noise stressed him out.

He began to eat the grass by the fence

M: I need to calm my nerves.


Another tiger nearby was inside on this hot humid day and we called for him to come out.

K: Come on out and take a a swim in the pool. There is a nice breeze out here.

M: It is cooler inside

At first we thought he had air-conditioning inside, but later found they had fans.

Later the manager John came out and called to him.

Amazingly he came right out and up to the fence.

M: You are on the wrong side.

There were two fences, an outside fence and an inside fence. John then took us between the two fences and Dante laid down and put his body right next to the fence where John could scratch his back and neck.

M: [He then purred.] Thank you very much.

After John left and we had come back out of the fence space between the fences some children began to mimic sounds of a tiger or lion roaring.

M: I don’t sound like that.

What a great day. We were all so grateful to all the animals and especially to John Bergmann, manager of the zoo. He was so helpful and gracious to us and wanted the e-mails of the animal communicators to keep in touch with them when needed. And what a validation of the wonderful work he has been doing in the zoo. No animals even hinted at any issues concerning their care.

Bill Stevens