November 22, 2014

Reptiles close out summer reading programs

Kevin Bunch
Michael Brophy opens his Reptiles Inc. show at the Mary Johnston Library July 25, with a Sahara Desert-native African spur-thighed tortoise named Trouble. He said the diurnal animal can live to be 100 years old, and that Trouble had been abandoned in March in Michigan by his owners. The tortoise had suffered from pneumonia and had a shell infection from a dog bite when it was found and nursed back to health.
Kevin Bunch
A crested gecko of New Caledonia climbs along Michael Brophy’s arm. The species primarily lives in trees in the wild, and is known for having no eyelids — it must lick its own eyes to keep them clear of dust and debris.
Kevin Bunch
Brophy shows off a blue-tongued skink, a native of Australia. The species is known for its namesake blue tongue, and for being rather slow.
Kevin Bunch
Brophy shows an American alligator to kids at the Standish library, explaining that they are dangerous and are very bad choices for pets.
Kevin Bunch
The alligator, named Darth Gator, opens his mouth for kids to see his teeth.
Kevin Bunch
Brophy holds up a pair of albino corn snakes, which tend to live in fields and hunt mice, small reptiles, and unguarded bird eggs. He did note that albino animals tend to lack the natural camouflage they need to survive, and are easily hunted by predators.
Kevin Bunch
A Burmese python named Cinderella is held by Brophy during his program. He said she can get as long as 18 feet when fully grown, and will go after live rabbits as her primary prey.
Kevin Bunch
Theresa Grubaugh of Standish holds the crested gecko up after the reptile program while Madison and Gavin Grubaugh get a closer look.
Kevin Bunch
Standish’s Theresa Grubaugh shows off the crested gecko for the camera.
Kevin Bunch
Dante and Cedric Rich, 8, of Standish take some time after the reptile show to pet the African spur-thighed tortoise.
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Michael Brophy brought some cold-blooded friends with him to the Arenac County libraries for the final Iosco-Arenac District Library summer reading program on July 24 and 25, entitled “Reptiles Inc.” Kids and adults in the audience were able to see a mix of wild animals, from snakes and skinks to gators and geckos. Afterward, adults were encouraged to try and hold some of the animals themselves.

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