Denison Public Library’s small presentation room hosted a standing-room-only crowd Saturday when Wildlife on the Move brought the “unhuggables” in for a show.
Wildlife On the Move Presenter Eric Brittingham introduced youngsters, and some who weren’t all that young, to critters that slither and slink around in environments that ranged from the Western United States to Africa, Australia, Asia and beyond.
All of the while, he reminded his students that animals are not out to get mankind, and we must do our best to treat them as kindly as possible when our paths cross.
From toddlers to retirees, those who attended the event seemed to enjoy the nuggets of information that Brittingham imparted with his show of colorful creatures. Most of the animals, he said, came to be part of the show because someone attempted to keep them as pets but did a poor job of it.
Clint Burkard said holding the tarantula felt awesome and a little weird. He said he had never been that close to one before and he didn’t plan on going out looking for any in the wild any time soon.
“I don’t know how it would react,” he said when asked why he won’t be touching any he might find in the wild.
Teaching children about how to react if they see one of the featured animals is part of the show that Brittingham puts on. He reminded them sitting “criss cross applesauce” in front of him that they should be very quiet and move slowly or stand still if they come across such creatures.
His presentation also imparted information on the native country for each animal in the show as well as information on how and what it eats and what eats it.
Denison Youth Services Librarian Deborah Wise and Associate Director Steve McGowen said Saturday’s turnout might have been the biggest they have had for a Saturday reading program.
He said that in the winter libraries in the area hold a showcase where different presenters come and give about 15 minutes of their presentations and from that, they picked Wildlife on the Move for this summer’s line up of activities at the library.
“People love the animal shows,” McGowen said.
Those who didn’t catch Saturday’s presentations are not out of luck. The library will once again feature animals in July. But first up, there will be a ventriloquist and storyteller on Saturday. A magic show arrives on July 6 and the creatures return on July 13 with Wild Things Zoofari. “E.T.” the movie will be shown on July 20 and the summer reading program wraps up on July 27 with a touch-a-truck event.
Jerrie Whiteley is an editor for the Herald Democat. She can be reached at JWhiteley@HeraldDemocrat.com.