Most of us are used to checking out books at our local library, so it might come as a surprise that on July 13th, local kids were invited to “check out” some very interesting animals instead. The West Nipissing Public Library hosted Reptile Adventure, an organization that is home to many creepy-crawlies, snakes, reptiles and even crocodilians.
The Reptile Adventure camp is located in Bonfield. Steve Featherstone, head of the organisation, moved there from Hamilton where he was born and raised, though he now considers himself very much a Northern Ontarian. The area provides plenty of space for the animals to live and where he can pursue outdoor hobbies. Many of the reptiles that now call this camp home were rescued. Some of the animals on display during Wednesday’s event were pets that had been taken from owners who were not giving them proper care. Featherstone says 54 of the 56 animals at the camp are currently animals that were either seized or surrendered to them.
The presenter at the library event, Chloe St Amour, brought a veritable stable of creatures to show the kids. These included a tarantula, a scorpion, a turtle, a tortoise, some snakes, some lizards, a giant bullfrog, and a crocodile. Though not all the creatures were safe to pet – the snapping turtle in particular would have had a mean bite – the kids did get to interact up close with quite a few of them throughout the presentation.