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Feathers and scales prevail at exhibit

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Friday, August 16, 2013

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Neighbors | Abby Slanker.Katie Shipka, an Ohio certified volunteer naturalist, greeted visitors of Mill Creek MetroParks Farm’s Reptile and Raptor Exhibit with a special guest, Checkers, a 21-year-old corn snake, serving as her ‘necklace.’

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Neighbors | Abby Slanker.Elijah Peters held an albino ball python during Mill Creek MetroParks Farm’s Reptile and Raptor Exhibit Aug. 4.

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Neighbors | Abby Slanker.Linda Miller, a Mill Creek MetroParks volunteer, showed off Silas, an albino Burmese python, at Mill Creek MetroParks Farm’s Reptile and Raptor Exhibit Aug. 4. Silas is 8 1/2 feet in length and weighs 25 pounds.

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Neighbors | Abby Slanker.Brody Herman (left) and his brother, Alec, took time to get on the floor to pet Diego, a 4-year-old black and white tegu, at Mill Creek MetroParks Farm’s Reptile and Raptor Exhibit Aug. 4.

BY ABBY SLANKER

neighbors@vindy.com

The Mill Creek MetroParks Farm’s Reptile and Raptor Exhibit featured snakes, lizards, bearded dragons, geckos, plated lizards, a barn owl and a screech owl Aug. 4.

Members of the Northern Ohio Association of Herpetologists (NOAH) and Keith Gisser of Herps Alive brought such creatures as a black and white tegu, an albino Burmese python, a corn snake and king snakes to display and Heather Merritt of Birds in Flight Sanctuary brought her birds of prey.

According to Ray Novotny, manager, Ford Nature Center and coordinator of the exhibit, the event was started in 1987 and he estimated almost 2,000 people would come through the displays.

“The first exhibit was in 1987 and now we put this event on every other year. I estimate we’ve had about 1,300 people come through so I am really hoping to make it to 2,000 today,” Novotny said.

Attendees had the opportunity to pet the creatures under the supervision of the herpetologists, as well as ask questions and take pictures. Children could also make a craft outside near the birds of prey exhibit.

The MetroParks Farm barns were also open for attendees to visit and pet the farm animals.


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