Thursday, June 9, 2011 | 10:26 p.m.
You consider the vast menagerie that is the 42-acre Casa de Shenandoah estate, replete with peacocks, African penguins, sloths, wallabies, 52 Arabian horses and even a marmoset, and you think, “You know what this place could really use? A couple hundred lovebirds!”
And so, it is done.
Wayne Newton’s famous property is being used as a permanent habitat for 200 or so lovebirds offered to the estate by the producers of the new Animal Planet show “Confessions: Animal Hoarding.”
The series sharpens the focus on general hoarding that has been spotlighted on the A&E series “Hoarders” and examines abuses in animal ownership. In that context, the definition of “hoarding” is simply someone owning one more pet than he or she can effectively keep.
Example: If you own 10 cats but only have the space, energy and resources to care for nine, guess what? You’re a hoarder.
The only information about these birds are that they were plucked from a home where the owners allowed the 200 lovebirds to live freely in their house. Sort of like an old Disney film gone awry. The details will flow forth during the episode set to air at 10 p.m. Aug. 12.
The birds were initially and temporarily delivered to Gilcrease Orchards while a sanctuary was constructed for them near the entrance of Newton’s mansion on the Shenandoah grounds. As the birds were led to their new cages, a couple of peacocks strutted by, seemingly in deep study.
The peacocks at Shenandoah appear skeptical of any visitors and have free run of the grounds. But these birds will be kept in safe haven. The little birds are beautiful creatures, mostly blue with white bellies and black masks and look a little like Batman characters.
Newton himself is on vacation and wasn’t around to welcome the new inhabitants of Shenandoah. Mr. Las Vegas is out of town on vacation but did offer a statement in a news release:
“The lovebirds are a welcomed addition to Casa de Shenandoah, and I am very happy we can provide them with a safe and nurturing home. They are very beautiful birds, and I can’t wait for visitors to see them when Casa de Shenandoah opens to the public at the end of the year.”
True, the big bird house is not the only construction being enacted at Shenandoah. The property will be open to public tours by the end of the year, and plans are for the parcel currently home to the old Napa Valley Pottery building to the north, across Sunset Road from Shenandoah, to be the site of a museum of Newton’s artifacts and a showroom loosely designed on the Sands’ Copa Room (read about the Clark County Commission's final vote of approval here.
Certainly, whether or not they know it, the little birds are likely to be the most popular feathered attraction in Vegas since “Folies Bergere” closed at the Tropicana. And if you’re thinking “Only in Vegas,” no one would argue.