Reptile display wows children

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Josh Day, 9, pets a corn snake from the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences on Friday at Harold D. Cooley Library Central Library in Nashville.


Staff Writer

Saturday, July 15, 2017

NASHVILLE — Things got a little wild Friday at the Harold D. Cooley Library in Nashville.

The library played host Friday afternoon to a representative from the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh. Outreach Educator Carolyn Brooks stopped by the library with some scaly and not-so-slimy friends from the museum for almost 40 kids and kids at heart to see including a pair of turtles, a bearded dragon and a corn snake. Brooks said her visit was the first time that she had ever been to the library, adding she was excited to be in Nashville.

She said the library is not the only place that the museum’s representatives visit annually. They also make stops at nursing homes, schools, festivals and other locations and events, Brooks said. 

The children who attended Friday’s event were excited to see Brooks animal pals, including 3-year-old Bailey Whitman who came with her grandmother Barbara Whitman. Bailey Whitman said her favorite animal was the box turtle. Barbara Whitman said seeing her granddaughter so enthusiastic about the animals was encouraging.

“It’s a great feeling just watching her enjoyment,” Whitman said. “It gives me a lot of joy to see her so happy and excited.”

Brooks shared Whitman’s sentiment about the reward of children’s enjoyment.

“Everyone is so appreciative when we come,” Brooks said. “They light up like the circus has come to town.”

She added being able to bring the animals to the children and their parents is important because not every family can make the trip to the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences because making the visits “opens a part of the world that they otherwise might not get to see,” Brooks said.

While getting to see the animals was the major highlight of the event, Brooks’ lessons about the animals were just as enjoyable thanks to the information that she shared. Brooks surprised audiences of all ages as she revealed that frogs actually shed their skins, but eat the skins once they’re shed.

She also revealed the little-known facts that North Carolina is the salamander capital of the country, that copperhead babies are born live and that they use a yellow tip on their tails as lures among other items.

Between getting to see and touch the animals and getting to learn about each one, Friday’s event proved a favorite for everyone in attendance. It is not the only wildlife-based program that the library has hosted. It also recently played host to a representative of the N.C. Aquarium at Manteo.

The library will host a special event for anyone who loves pirates at 11 a.m.  June 29. More information about that and other events at the Harold D. Cooley Library is available online at http://www.townofnashville.com.