Up and close reptile. Clayton Green (seated, left) and Daniel Green watch as Al Notter of the Little Rock Zoo carries around a blue tonged skink lizard during a visit to the Booneville Library Thursday.
High on the hedgehog. Al Notter shows off a hedgehog for Justin Rongey, Noah Stewart and others at the Booneville Library Thursday.
Bird of prey. Guy Bingham holds a great horned owl during a visit by the Little Rock Zoo to the Booneville Library Thursday.
Representatives of the Little Rock Zoo, along with some of the zoo’s exhibits, spent the day in Logan County last Thursday.
As an outreach program Zoo personnel, along with an African four-toed hedgehog, a blue tonged skink lizard, a great horned owl and a couple of Australian prickly stick insects, excited children and adults at the libraries in Booneville and Paris.
A crowd of over 70 attended the 1 p.m. show in Booneville where the hedgehog was rambunctious, the skink proved he wasn’t house trained, the owl — a bird of prey the zoo is permitted to keep only because it has an injured eye and cannot survive in the wild — put on a show and the insects may have been the biggest hit.
Guy Bingham and Al Notter paraded the animals through a maze of children and adults alike who captured numerous photographs of the animals and posed multiple questions about them. Reese Barclay, an intern at the zoo this summer, handled most of the presentation.
The presentation included information about what the animals eat, how and where they live in the wild, how the zoo acquired the animals and other educational information, often correcting misconceptions.
It was a 1 p.m. show rather than the customary 3 p.m. Thursday afternoon event in Booneville because the zoo employees and animals needed to return to Little Rock earlier, according to librarian Ginger Schlorer.
The zoo does outreach programs such as the ones here about five times per month according to Susan Harris of the education department. Besides libraries, programs are conducted at Boys & Girls Clubs and other locations.