Jesse Rothacker and his reptile friends from Forgotten Friend Reptile Sanctuary in Lancaster County are entertaining young audiences around Berks County this summer with their Rockin’ Reptiles show, visiting Berks County libraries for the Summer Reading Program.
“We want to help people give reptiles a chance, to share a passion for all of the animals on the Earth, especially cold blooded animals. A lot of people are prejudiced against reptiles,” said Rothacker during a recent Hamburg Public Library show held on June 27 at First Reformed Church in Hamburg. “We’re helping them to see them in a different light, have some fun, laugh and learn.”
Rothacker brought a few reptiles from the sanctuary, including various snakes, lizards and turtles. Highlights included an albino boa constrictor, Burmese python and a very large tortoise.
“These are a lot of animals that people hear rumors about or stories about but they live somewhat underground in the shadows so they’re often talked about but rarely seen,” he said. “This gives us a chance to highlight some of these animals that are a big part of our planet that we just don’t see everyday.”
Rothacker and his reptiles will continue to present their Rockin’ Reptile show at Berks County libraries this summer. For a schedule of events, visit http://forgottenfriend.org/outreach/events/.
“The library is a great place to send your kids. You can actually meet a lot of reptiles and then almost every library has dozens of books about reptiles that you can take home with you. It’s a great thing to do with your summer,” he said about the Berks County Summer Reading Program.
During the show, Rothacker not only introduced reptiles, he educated children about what to do if they encounter them in the wild. First, step back and take a picture from a safe distance. Do not approach or touch. Send a photo to Forgotten Friends for a free species identification.
“Every animal is important. Thank you for giving reptiles a chance. If you think this was fun, then read. Best way to learn about reptiles is from books,” said Rothacker while concluding the show.
He encouraged attendees to go to their local library to check out reptiles books.
After the show, children had a chance to touch a live snake that Rothacker held. There was also a touch station that allowed the children to touch various reptile skins and shells.
For more information about other Forgotten Friend Reptile Sanctuary events, visit http://forgottenfriend.org.