The New Carlisle Library brought the zoo to you on June 22nd at 4:30 p.m. when Adam Brasher from Animal Tales brought some of his friends for an up close and personal experience.
Animal Tales is based out of Nashville, Tennessee and does shows in 10 surrounding states. Brasher, along with two other presenters, travel to these states doing two or three shows a day, six days a week for the entire summer. Each presenter does over 100 shows throughout the summer. Each presenter has their own animals they take with them to every show because it makes the animals more comfortable to have the same handler. They have another presenter, but his sole focus is on reptile shows. Each presentation has a theme and “wow” animal to end the show. Some examples of past shows “wow” animals include wallabies, kangaroos, and giant tortoises.
This year’s summer theme for the library is “Let’s Build a Better World” and sticking with that theme, this program was called Animal Architecture. All the animals that were brought to the library were animals that are extremely good at building things out in the wild.
Brasher started the show by making everyone in the room promise not to scream if they got scared by any animal. He also made them promise to stay relatively quiet and still as to not spook any of the animals.
For the very first animal, Brasher asked for brave volunteers. He chose two kids and had them hold out their hands and close their eyes. He made everyone else in attendance promise not to say what the animal was when he brought it out because he wanted it to be a surprise for the volunteers. The way he talked about this animal, everyone expected a scary animal, but instead he brought out Orion the Chinchilla. He let the volunteers feel Orion before having them open their eyes to reveal they had pet a chinchilla. The kids described the chinchilla as really soft which Brasher then explained is because of they have over around 70 pieces of hair for each hair hole. Because of all this hair, chinchillas cannot get their fur wet and instead roll around in dirt and dust to get clean. Chinchillas live in the mountains and dig burrows and make their nest underground to keep warm.
The next animal Brasher brought out was pink-toed tarantula named Charlotte. He talked about how spiders like her live on the tops of trees and because they are so heavy, they do not make webs. They rely instead on their ability to jump. They catch the bugs and then spin them up in a web and drink the bug like a milkshake. Brasher had to wear a glove when holding Charlotte because that type of spiders have hair on their back that they can flick off when they are being chased by a predator to get them to stop.
After bringing our two animals that rely on their legs, Brasher brought one out that does not use it’s legs very much at all, but rather its wings. This was a Lanner Falcon named Whistler. Whistler was brought to them by a falconer when she was already full grown so there is no way to know how old she is. She was raised by human her entire life, so she believes she is a human and because of this she will never be able to live in the wild. Brasher then taught the kids how birds like Whistler hunt smaller birds right out of the sky. In addition, he explained that Lanner Falcons do not build their own nests, but instead steal nests that were built by other birds. Someone in the audience asked about the pattern on her face and Brasher explained that the black strips under her eyes were there to reflect the sun much like a football players wears when they play.
The next animal Brasher brought out was a two-month old Timber Wolf Pup named Apex. Even though he is not supposed to play favorite with his animals, he likes this playful pup the best. He had Apex on a leash and was walking him around the room as he talked about this type of wolves. He explained that these animals are great at digging and the mother digs a den underground to keep her pups safe. They are also nocturnal which means they hunt at night and rely heavily on their big ears and amazing sense of smell to hunt. He then had the crowd howl like a wolf to try to get a response from Apex. He did not howl back and Brasher explained that different howls mean different things out in the wild and Apex may not have understood what was being told to him through the howl the crowd make. Every wolf wants to be the leader of the pack and even though Apex is still small, he wants to be the big bad wolf. Even though he tries to be the leader, Brasher is always in charge. As a treat, Brasher bought Apex a small skunk squeaky toy at Dollar General before the show and he immediately loved it; rolling on the floor with, making it squeak, and growling at Brasher when he tried to take it from him.
For his big finale, Brasher brought out Scarlett, a Honduran Milk Snake. He explained that snakes do not have ears, so when you see a snake in your back yard do not scream because they cannot hear you. He taught them instead to stomp their feet on the ground because the snake would feel the vibrations. Scarlett was not dangerous and Brasher let everyone who wanted to pet her using two fingers moving from her head to her tail.
“I love that I get to connect with so many people for my job,” Brasher said, “I love seeing the look on the kids face when they see new or exciting animals.”
The library has been putting on programs since 1999 and live animals have always been a huge hit.
“I think a lot of people enjoy live animal events because it is like getting a free trip to the zoo without leaving their hometown or even the comfort of air conditioning,” Maggie Bollar, the children’s librarian, said.
The attendance for this program was 60 people which was lower than others, but the time of this event may have kept some people from being able to attend. Normally, the library holds program later in the day or on weekends, but because this was the day Animal Tales was going to be in Ohio, they had to work it into their schedule
The New Carlisle Library has many more fun programs planned for the remainder of the summer, including another live animal show at the Brukner Nature Center on Friday June 30th at 1:30 p.m.