I really wanted a fun and educational Birthday party for my daughter’s 7th Birthday, so I totally jumped at the opportunity to have reptiles and a professional handler show up to give a hands on educational presentation for the kids.
The program is called Reptile Feeders Outreach and is offered by The Norwood Ontario Reptile Feeders. Reptile Feeders is the largest supplier of live reptile food in Canada. They take great care in producing all sorts of live reptile food from rodents to worms. Chances are if you are a reptile owner and buy food from a petstore it probably came from the Norwood Reptile Feeder facility. They also sell supplies as well as reptiles and furry critters. All of the animals that attended the Outreach birthday party came from the facility and are frequently handled as well as spolied rotten.
The party started off with a few rules #1 wash your hands after handling animals #2 don’t scare the animals. The kids, although crazy and loud were actually not able to scare the animals. The professional handler started off by bringing out the smallest animals first and the kids had a blast. The above picture is a party attendee handling a Leopard Gecko. All of the kids had the oportunity to either touch or hold the animals (Most of them anyway)
Aurora (The Birthday Girl) handling a White’s Tree Frog. She got the honours of getting to handle this cute little guy. Because Frogs absorb moisture through their skin it is not recommended that too many people handle them because they can absorb bacteria through their skin. White’s Tree frogs are native species to Australia and live in trees where they get their mosture from the rain and dew.
The tortoise was pretty neat, they can live up to 100 years old and they are very friendly. The kids tried to scare the tortoise so she would hide in her shell but they were not very sucessful, however when Aurora tried to feed her some fresh Kale she hid, likely because she was offended that it was not strawberries. Kids learned the difference between a Turtle and a tortoise and were told that if they ever see a turtle crossing the road to always make sure to help it across in the direction they are headed. Snapping turtles can be picked up by the back of the shell near hind legs where the head can not reach and “whellbarrowed” safely across the road.
The one Lizard all the kids wanted was the Bearded Dragon. Bearded dragons are easy to handle, quite lazy unless food is introduced and are great for kids who are first time lizard owners. Reptile feeders has lots of cute Bearded dragons for sale. The kids got to see the bearded dragon eat a nice big juicy hornworm and they thought that was great. There was smiles all around when Simba the Bearded dragon was handled by all the kids.
We had snakes of all sizes attend the party as well. The first snake the kids were introduced to was a corn snake and after that a beautiful Ball Python (Above) The kids really liked the Ball python because it had a very cool pattern which is known as Piebald. Piebald means that an animal has an irregular colour pattern, usually darker spots on white. Piebald pythons are specifically bred to look like this and are worth more money than a regular patterned Ball Python. The rarer the pattern on a snake the more valuable it is. Ball Pythons are lazy snakes and don’t slither too much so the kids felt more comfortable handling a calmer snake. Even kids who came to the party afraid of snakes left boasting that they got to hold a snake.
Last but not least, what’s a party without a very big snake? Reptile feeders brought an albino Burmese Python and the kids had an opportunity for it to slither on their laps. No worries, kids are much too big for these snakes to eat and the snake was probably not very hungry anyways. The Burmese pythons eat rabbits (but not live ones). Snakes smell with their tongue and see temperature so if their food is heated up they can smell it and see it. All snakes no matter how big or small eat meat only. Pythons are constrictor snakes and they suffocate their meals before eating. Another cool fact kids learned was that Pythons lay eggs and Boa Constrictors give birth to live young. Pythons can make great pets too but they need lots of space as they get very big and they are banned from certain townships and cities.
Reptiles can live a very long time so if you give them a home be prepared to give them a loving home. Kids also can get bored with pets leaving their parents to look after them. Reptile ownership is not for everyone but if you are prepared and you enjoy looking after neat creatures then a reptile can make the perfect pet. Don’t forget that adoption is still the best method when it comes to any animal.
Looking for cool party ideas? Try an educational one. Reptile outreaches are great and the kids will remember the experience. It has been a week since the party and all the party attendees are still talking about how cool it was to get to learn about and handle reptiles. You can book a party in the Kawartha Lakes area by going to http://www.reptilefeeders.com/outreach or check online for your nearest outreach program. Zoos and sanctuaries also offer outreach programs for birthday parties and special events. I can guarantee you will not be let down, it was absolutely fun and not a single kid had a bad time.