A little girl can get a big sea lion to do almost anything when she is holding a fish.
Ten-year-old Ofelia was clearly in charge at the sea lion facility at Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium and Safari Park in Litchfield Park as a 350-pound performed tricks to earn a treat. Coached by Senior Trainer Kaeli Innes, Ofelia coaxed the sea lion to leap from the water to touch a ball with his nose.
Ofelia has a soft spot in her heart for animals, from kittens to giraffes. She said she would like to work with animals when she grows up -- maybe even at Wildlife World Zoo.
Having a sea lion to eat out of your hand takes a sense of adventure and Ofelia has plenty of that. At a recent summer camp, she hiked, paddled and screamed down a zip line.
Summer camp was fun, but Ofelia says she is happy to be back in school.
“I like to write and read,” she said. “I like to go to PE. I like science and social studies.”
Ofelia also like to cook and loves learning new skills in the kitchen.
“I like to bake cookies,” she said with a big smile.
James Schlemmer, a youth advocate with Christian Family Care, described Ofelia as “very sweet, very inquisitive and a little bit silly, in a good way.”
Ofelia would do well in a forever family with a mother and father who could provide the one-on-one attention she craves, said Schlemmer.
“She loves being read to,” he said.
Ofelia would fit in well in a household with other children, Schlemmer said.
“I think Ofelia would be a really great younger sister,” he adds.
Watch the stories of children in foster care waiting on forever families each week on the Wednesday’s Child segment each week between 5-6 a.m. on 12 News (KPNX). You can also view previously aired stories at www.aask-az.org.
For more information on children eligible for adoption, call Aid to Adoption of Special Kids (AASK) at 602-930-4900, or visit www.aask-az.org.