Safari in the library

 

Allie Hurley

Bindi, a bennett wallaby, is brought out on a leash by Safari Sally during her Animal Adventure show at the Pine Bluffs Library Friday

The Pine Bluffs Library welcomed kids to take a look at a few exotic animals Friday.

The library invited Safari Sally to show off her animals as part of the Summer Reading Celebration Program. More than 80 kids attended the show. Safari Sally is a zoo keeper, naturalist, nationally renowned animal trainer and educator. During her Animal Adventure show, Safari Sally introduced kids to some exotic animals including a rose hair tarantula, a blue-tongue skink, an albino snake, a wallaby and a ferret.

The name of the tarantula was Charlotte. Sally introduced Charlotte as a girl power animal because the girls live up to 25 years and the males only live for nine years. Rose hair tarantulas are from the deserts of Bolivia, Argentina and Chile. Sally informed the audience that there are a few requirements in order to be a spider. First spiders must have eight legs. Spiders have to have two body parts and six to eight eye balls. Spiders must also have spinnerets as well as fangs and venom.


The next animal Sally brought out was Stanley, a blue-tongue skink from Australia. Sally said this animal is an ectotherm because his body temperature becomes the temperature of his environment. Stanley also has really good hearing. Sally said blue-tongue skinks can hear a few inches under the ground. Blue-tongue skinks use their tongues to scare off predators. Sally said another way skinks scare off predators is by blowing bubbles out of their eyes.

Baby was the next animal Sally brought out. Baby is an albino corn snake. Sally said corn snakes are seen all over the Midwest. Corn snakes live where the corn is, not because they eat corn, but because they eat the mice that eat the corn. Corn snakes are also ectotherms. Sally said Baby has 80 teeth that are tiny and pointed inward to hold in her food. Sally also said Baby has no eyelids and her ribs start from her head and go down to her tail. Sally informed the audience that it is not wise to hold a snake around the neck because snakes' muscles are so strong.

Sally also brought out a bennett wallaby named Bindi. The wallaby is a cousin to the kangaroo and can jump 15 feet in one hop. Sally said when wallabys are born, they are the size of a peanut. They have no hair, no back legs and no eyes. Sally also said wallabys are in gestation for a month. Then, they climb into their mother's pouch and live there for seven months.

The last animal Sally brought out was a European polecat, also known as a ferret. Ferrets are cousins to skunks. Sally said ferrets are nocturnal. Sally also said ferrets are very bendy which makes them good hunters. The name ferret comes from the term "ferreting things out of holes".


After the show, Sally let the kids pet the ferret. Her daughter Ripley Duke was by her side to give kids hand sanitizer, since ferrets have musky fur all over their bodies.

Sally has been a dog trainer and a trainer at a zoo. She was also in charge of animal shows at a children's museum where she showed more than 200 animals. The museum decided to get rid of the animals and some of those animals went home with Sally. Sally said most of her animals are from someone who didn't want them anymore. Sally has been doing her Animal Adventure shows for about 12 years. She said she enjoys watching kids get excited about seeing the animal. She also said it is important for young kids to be interested in animals especially in places where there are no zoos.

 

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