Are you afraid of snakes? Maybe that’s because you just haven’t taken the time to
get to know any. But you can meet some snakes up close and personal at “Reptiles!” at the Chattahoochee Nature Center http://www.chattnaturecenter.org, 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell, Ga., Saturday, January 19, 2013 from noon to 4:00 p.m.
At 1:00 p.m., there will be a show presented by Jason Clark of the Animal Planet series “SnakesKin,” featuring both native and exotic venomous and non-venomous snakes. “This isn’t just informational,” Clark says. “It’s very entertaining!”
In addition, his Reptile Wagon http://snakesareus.com/the_reptile_wagon will be on hand with a collection of snakes, tortoises and alligators. “We’ll have an Eastern diamondback rattlesnake, timber rattlesnake, pigmy rattlesnake, copperhead, cottonmouth, puff adder, Mexican cantil, cobra, probably an albino rattlesnake,” says Clark. “Maybe a python, depending on their shedding schedules.”
Visitors can have their photos taken with an alligator, and the proceeds benefit Southeastern Reptile Rescue.
Kids can make a snake from 2:00 p.m to 4:00 p.m. with a craft leader from the center’s Camp Kingfisher.
And there is a pet contest, Pets are Purrrfect Companions, in the Nature Exchange, where people can earn points to trade for natural objects. They have sent in photos and stories about their pets promoting them as the best. Contributors win bonus points.
The event hopes to create positive public relations for snakes, which just can’t shake that Garden of Eden deception. The afternoon’s programs and displays aim to separate fact from fiction to help visitors understand that snakes are really good citizens of our ecosystem, doing their part to keep the balance by consuming things that have legs, like rats and mice.
Christie Hill, the center’s naturalist coordinator, explains that Georgia has more species of snakes than any other state in the eastern United States — 45. “They’re beneficial for humans to have a healthy habitat,” says Hill. “We want them to stay around.”
Other reptiles also hope to benefit from the nature center’s event when warm-blooded creatures learn more about them.
“Reptiles!” is free with admission to the center: $10 for adults; $7 for seniors 65 and up and ages 13-18; $6 for kids 3-12; and free for 2 and under.