Lake Metroparks Glen Penitentiary showcases snakes, turtles and more at September 19 event – News-Herald
The snakes spent four hours in the spotlight at an event in Kirtland on September 19.
Lake Metroparks Penitentiary Glen sponsored Snakes, Turtles and More from noon to 4 p.m.
People who visited the Penitentiary Glen Nature Center during this time had the chance to learn about snakes, reptiles and amphibians.
“It’s about recognizing the importance and greatness of reptiles and amphibians,” said Andy Avram, Interpretive Director of Lake Metroparks, of the purpose of the program. “It’s just trying to build that appreciation for the different reptiles and amphibians out there.”
During the event, the Nature Center classroom featured a display of native reptiles and amphibians, such as a Dekay Brown Snake and a Gray Tree Frog.
Visitors could also examine signs with text and photos that offered interesting facts about snakes. For example, snakes “smell” by sliding their tongue in and out.
In the center Forest Hall, the Northern Ohio Association of Herpetologists presented an exhibit of exotic reptiles and amphibians.
Members of the association took out some reptiles from their terrariums and invited visitors to touch the creatures and ask questions. Some of the reptiles participating in the close and personal encounter were a 3-foot-long royal python and a bearded dragon lizard.
One reptile that roamed the room alone was Dozer, an African sulcata turtle. Many small children who came to the event climbed onto the ground to pet Dozer, as NOAH member Norena Hosler from Chester Township watched over the wandering turtle.
NOAH, which was founded in 1974, strives to educate its members and the general public on “the conservation, ecological role, captive care and breeding of reptiles and amphibians,” according to the website of the group.
The Glen Penitentiary at Lake Metroparks has also made sure Snakes, Turtles and more are an enjoyable occasion for the kids, offering reptile-themed activities and crafts.
Avram said snakes deserve respect for the role they play in the ecosystem.
In the food chain, snakes themselves often become food for animals such as hawks and foxes. But snakes also act as predators to take out other creatures that a lot of people don’t like.
“A lot of snakes eat mice and rats, bugs,” Avram said. “Things we see as pests on our crops, things we don’t want in our house, snakes eat.”