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Special Assignment

Group Celebrates 'Furry' Lifestyle

'Furries' Attend Conventions Across Country

CLEVELAND, 3:48 p.m. EDT May 6, 2001 -- Most people have never heard of or seen anything like the warm and fuzzy world of "The Furries."

NewsChannel5's Leon Bibb reports on what a "Furry" is.

Meet Amadeo, a red panda. Under all the fur is Amadeo's creator, Marshall Woods (pictured, below), a computer network administrator from Fairlawn, Ohio.

"I think it's strange myself," Woods said. "It's sort of an odd thing to be involved in. I'd always been uncomfortable with myself as a human. I never really like the human form; I was never really terribly happy that way."

Woods lives and works like most people, but he said that inside, he's very different.

"It's how I've been my whole life," he said. "I always had an interest in animals. I always wanted a more animal-style body: fur, tail and so forth."

Woods is a member of the Ohio Furries, a group of about 80 people who have a special affection for animals.

"I perform, I compete; there are competitions," he said. "I've won quite a few of them."

Marshall Woods

Furries are popping up across the country, attending conventions like the Midwest Furfest.

"I thought I was the only person who was like that, but it's nice to find there are other people who do, in fact, feel that way," Woods said.

Bob Repas of Elyria, Ohio, is a college instructor by day, and a Furry on the side.

"I've always had an interest in cartoons, and that interest has not left me as I've gotten older," he said.

The Furries hold several conventions each year.

To learn more about the Furries, visit the group's Web site.

Copyright 2001 by NewsNet5. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.




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