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His Business Is "Everything Camel"
Second generation exotic animal trainer Bill Rivers has made a business out of finding niche opportunities for camels and other exotic animals. That includes work in movies, parades and festivals, as well as summertime leases to businesses offering camel rides.
"Camel ride leases are priced according to the volume of people coming through," explains Rivers. "We're in the business to rent or lease animals. We'll go anywhere if the price is right and lease to anyone with a legitimate business."
Rivers has supplied camels and even a zebra for movies in Africa, as well as movies in this country. He offers camel safaris on his guest ranch in Texas and leases camels to zoos, amusement parks and to individuals for camel rides. Recently he held his first camel training symposium.
Rivers' camels have appeared in the "Scorpion King", "Hidalgo" and "Evan Almighty" movies. In the latter case, his camels were accompanied by lots of other exotic animals trained by Rivers.
As a camel breeder and trainer, Rivers advises people interested in buying a camel to start with a well-trained adult. "With babies, you don't know the background or health," he explains. "You may end up with something that you can't handle or isn't suited for what you want to do."
Rivers is also interested in training trainers. A recent camel training clinic attracted about a dozen people. Rivers says he will be holding a second seminar in late October of this year. The seminars, like his safaris, grew out of an interest expressed by customers.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, BR Lightning Ranch, 818 FM 1283, Pipe Creek, Texas 78063 (ph 830 535-4096; billrivers@indian-creek.net; www.lightningranch.com or www.movielandanimals.net).

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2011 - Volume #35, Issue #4