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May 18, 1990 - Image 42

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-05-18

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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0/7TH ANNUAL'

4:D1

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4E)

EBATE SAL

1

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Continued from preceding page

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VAZDA 929
NEW 1990
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Frogs

4mmill,

secret out and soon every-
body will be doing it. Suffice
it to say Koffman brings
them back in 4 feet-long
boxes kept damp inside.
Licensed to export 300
goliath frogs a year from
Cameroon, Koffman sells
the creatures for $900-
$2,500 each.
His own giant frogs live in
a 1,500-gallon heated pool,
decorated with plants and
rocks, in Koffman's Seattle
basement. They eat mice,
goldfish and crickets. The

SUPPORT ANDY KOFFMAN'S BID
TO COMPETE IN THE
CALAVARAS COUNTY FAIR

LET ANDY'S FROGS JUMP

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When Calavaras County Jubilee
officials tried to ban Koffman from
the contest, his supporters
donned pins with this message.
really hungry ones can eat
up to 40 mice a day, Koffman
says.
But don't think life for
these frogs is just lounging
around and eating tender
mice. Oh, no. The Conraua
Goliath's are getting ready
for the Big Day.
The Calaveras County
Fair frog jumping competi-
tion, created in 1928, was in-
spired by Mark Twain's
"The Notorious Jumping
Frog of Calaveras County."
The story tells of Jim
Smiley, who caught a frog
one day "and took him
home, and said he calc'lated
to educate him; and so he
never done nothing for three
months but set in his back
yard and learn that frog to
jump."
Today hundreds of com-
petitors, frogs in tow, come
from around the world each
May to the Calaveras Coun-
ty Fair Jubilee. The longest
jumper wins, and his owner
takes home $1,500. The
record to beat is 21 feet and 5
3/4 inches in three jumps, set
in 1986 by Rosie the Ribeter.
Visitors galore come for
the jubilee. Camera crews
are expected from Australia,
Great Britain, Canada and
Japan. "That's right," Kof-
fman says. "All the
Japanese will be watching
this contest."
It may sound like a hopp-
ing lot of fun, but to a
number of those associated
with the Calaveras County
Fair, the contest is serious
business, Koffman says.
At first, some fair officials
did their all to see that Kof-
fman's Conraua Goliaths
were barred from the jubilee.
They said that normal-sized

frogs — which weigh about 1
pound each — haven't got a
chance against Koffman's
capacious creatures, which
are about 10 times the size of
the average frog.
Other opponents made a
culinary argument. Koff-
man's frogs shouldn't be
allowed to enter the contest,
they said, because the Con-
raua Goliaths will eat their
competitors.
Koffman says his frogs do
not eat other frogs.
If some officials have lost
their sense of humor about
the Calaveras County Fair
frog-jumping contest, Koff-
man hasn't.
"My intentions are to go in
there and beat the hell out of
them," he says. "And the
more serious they become,
the more I want to beat
them."
Koffman is not the only
one to have fallen in a big
way for the Conraua
Goliaths. He and the frogs
have appeared on television
programs nationwide.
Among their stints: "The
Arsenio Hall Show," "The
Tonight Show," "L.A. Law,"
"A Current Affair" and the
NBC and ABC evening
news.
Koffman has a surprise in
mind for his May 30 ap-

Koffman's frogs
live in a
1,500-gallon,
heated pool in his
basement. They
eat mice, goldfish
and crickets. The
really hungry ones
can eat up to 40
mice a day.

pearance on "Late Night
with David Letterman." Not
only will he bring his goliath
frogs, he's coming with his
hairy frogs.
"When you part the hair,
there's the frog," Koffman
says.
He may bring his_ fruit
bats, too, which he says look
a lot like the winged
monkeys from The Wizard of
Oz.
"Forget about these people
who come out there with
their Bengal tigers," Koffman
says.
In addition to their vast
television experience, the
Conraua Goliaths have
made in it print, too.
Thousands of stories about
the frogs have been written,
appearing in The New York
Times, U.S. News and World
Report, Time and papers in

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