Stacy Dunn, an animal educator from Pinellas County Reptiles, tossed out lots of fun facts during a lively show featuring a variety of live critters on June 18 at the New River Branch Library, 34043 State Road 54 in Zephyrhills.
She had a crowd of about 90 hanging on her every word, as she showed off animals and talked about how big they get, how old they live to be and what they like to eat.
As she talked, she held the creatures in her hand, or let them crawl across a tarp she spread on the library’s floor.
She showed off 11 animals, including a lizard named Miss Athena, a bearded dragon named Jack and a tarantula named Miss Fluffy.
When Dunn told the crowd that Miss Athena likes blueberries, a little girl in the crowd announced, “I’d love to have a blueberry.”
Among the fun facts that Dunn shared:
“Tortoises cannot swim. They sink like rocks.”
“Snakes are not necessarily aggressive … (But) You don’t want to ever touch a snake’s face.”
“Tarantulas have terrible eyesight. Although they have eight eyes, they can barely see at all.”
And, “Bearded dragons have a blind spot.”
One of the more unusual creatures that Dunn showed the crowd looks like a snake, but is actually a lizard. It’s called a European legless lizard.
As Dunn showed off the animals, she gave the kids a chance to touch them.
They were gentle, and Dunn was appreciative: “You guys are doing so good touching with a very delicate touch. Thank you very much.”
During most of the show, 9-year-old Sabrina Mraz sat quietly next to her grandmother, Elsie Brower, of Wesley Chapel.
At one point, though, the young girl decided she wanted to touch a snake, so her grandmother went with her.
While the little girl seemed to enjoy the experience, her grandmother seemed more excited.
“That’s the first time in my life I touched a snake,” the 78-year-old Brower said, who clearly thought the show was worthwhile.
“I found it educational,” Brower said. “I guess you’re never too old to learn.”
Published June 29, 2016