Library hosts wildlife program
A number of domesticated exotic animals were presented by Eyes of the Wild 7 p.m. June 23 at Municipal Park, Smith Lane and Laubach Avenue, as part of the Northampton Area Public Library’s summer reading program.
This year’s summer reading theme is “Oceans of Possibility,” and the topic of why all animals, including humans, need water was discussed.
“The presenters are always well educated and great with kids and adults,” said Veronica Laroche, library director. “Eyes of the Wild does a really great job.”
Eyes of the Wild is a rehabilitation organization that travels around the tri-state area offering programs for children and the young at heart.
Summer readers had the opportunity to see, pet and learn about animals who “are better left in the wild and not as pets,” explained Travis Gale, owner of Eyes of the Wild. Gale keeps his audience in rapt attention as he uses realistic animal noises and funny jokes to spark everyone’s interest and enthusiasm for an adventurous learning experience.
Benjamin Kelly, of Emmaus, was asked by Gale to guess what animal was behind the curtain, based on his noises.
“I thought his tiger noise was funny, but when I saw it was an arctic fox, I thought that was really cool,” Benjamin said.
The presentation included an African sulcata tortoise that will grow to be 200 pounds and has a shell so strong an elephant could step on it and it would stay intact, a highly poisonous cane toad whose amphibious skin allows air and water to pass through, an alligator that has the capability to catch and eat sharks, a hedgehog who was more the speed of a turtle than its more popular cartoon counterpart Sonic and an arctic fox whose species developed a mutualistic symbiotic relationship with polar bears while foraging for food.
Each of the animals discussed brought up important topics such as energy conservation, pollution and the importance of water for animals and humans alike.
Eyes of the Wild’s mission is to unite people and animals of our natural world with the message of the importance of taking care of wildlife and being stewards of the environment.
“Most of what I know I learned from books at the library,” Gale said, suggesting his young listeners sign up for the summer reading program. “Sign up for summer reading. It’s a great way to learn.”