by Adam Choghri
What better way to relax before the end of the semester than by petting a metre and a half long snake? That's what students did at this Seneca@York event at the Hive this week.
"We bring a bunch of animals to show people, help them de-stress and we get them to interact with some really cool animals that usually makes them a little nervous, especially with the reptiles and snakes, and all kind of stuff."
Abi, from Little Ray's Reptile Zoo and Nature Centre brought a Florida Pine snake, a Legless lizard, a Red-footed tortoise, a Crested gecko, an Australian tree frog, a Black and white tegu, and a massive Macklot Python to show students. She even brought a little ferret along.
Abi talked about how they found the Black and white tegu abandoned in an area where he didn't belong. The small friendly tegu had lost his tail.
"A car may have run it over."
Abi talked about each reptile and at the end of each segment allowed students to pet the reptile. Students asked questions about the lifestyle of each animal. "It's really nice when we get to talk to university and college students, it's a little nice change of pace instead of doing presentations with children. We get way better questions, especially about our conservation status."
Abi said that she enjoys it when she has the chance to talk about our native species of turtles, saying, "...this is a perfect time of year to really talk about them. They're starting to come out of brumation, which is like reptile hibernation, so they really starting to cross roads and we really talk about their importance and their relevance to our area." Abi said that there are eight native species of turtles here in Ontario. She said that when a tortoise eats fruit off the ground, the seeds from the fruit can be digested and replanted again once it's out of the body.
If reptiles aren't for you, students had a chance to meet a friendly little ferret that was eager to get out of his cage and spend time with the crowd. The small little fuzz ball was adored by the crowd for its cute and adorable face and being able to fold into a "sandwich" as Abi calls it. But Abi said that these little fellows live up to six years, and eight "is where you're pushing it."
An SSF staff member said this is a favorite event that students love which is why they are bringing it back this week. "...we've done this in the past and students really loved it before, so we figured it would be a great time to bring back the event." One student named Alex said she loved the event, especially seeing the ferret, "I think the reptiles are cute, the ferret was adorable, and the little frog."