Kids have a ‘wild’ time at the library
By PAMELA GRANT
Everyone had a wild time at the library on Thursday as a warthog roamed amongst children, a toucan gulped down blueberries, and a wallaby hopped about.
These animals and more were a part of Courtney Pineda’s Wild Things Zoofari show which had three performances at the Copperas Cove Public Library on Thursday. During the show, Pineda showed off several of her favorite companions. She brought Gizmo the lemur, Foxy the fennec fox, Kira the serval, Mango the toucan, Pumba the warthog, and Zoey the baby wallaby.
Pineda has brought Gizmo the lemur to the library’s Zoofari show for the last few years, so some of the audience has seem him grow up since he was a baby. Gizmo is older now and performed a few small tricks for blueberry rewards.
Not only did Pineda show off the exotic creatures, she also took the opportunity to teach about the animals and encouraged the audience to help save their environment by doing simple things like planting trees, recycling, and buying recycled goods.
Audiences got to listen to the sound that a fox makes, and learn that the fennec fox uses its oversized ears to regulate their body temperature. Their ears also work like radars so that they can find their prey.
“I loved all of it,” said Kamrynn Powell (10). “They were all cute and cuddly. They’re so fluffy!”
Pineda said one of her main goals with her shows is to educate the children and give them up-close experiences with animals that they might never be able to have such experiences with.
During her show, Pineda let Pumba the warthog run around in an area enclosed by the young audience. She told the audience that the pig likes to stay muddy because it helps him stay cool and protects him from the sun.
The children also learned about the keel-billed toucan, Mango. Mango did what Pineda called the “toucan toss” as he tossed blueberries up into the air and devoured them. She said that toucans like Mango love fruit, but when there is a shortage of fruit in the wild, keel-billed toucans will eat lizards and insects. The children were also delighted to learn that toucans poop frequently, and their poop is the color of whatever they ate.
“I thought it was pretty cool. I came last year. I thought it was interesting that the toucan eats blueberries, and if he runs out of blueberries and fruits he eats lizards and bugs. That stuck out to me. I think it’s really cool that they host this,” said Zipporah Larue who brought her niece and nephew and her son, Aiden (2). “You can see animals right here at your local library. I hope they keep doing this every year.”
Kelsie Hinds who brought her children Aiden (7) and Aralynn (4) said that she loved the show and liked learning about all of the different animals. Aiden said that his favorite animal was the bird and Aralynn liked the fox. Hinds said that her children really like the library’s Summer Reading Program. “They love to read, and who wouldn’t love to get a pizza party at the end.”
The Summer Reading Program continues this week with a martial arts performance by Self Defense America on Wednesday at 2 p.m. and on Thursday with an African Safari with Elizabeth Kahura at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.
All of the library’s Summer Reading Program events and activities are free and open to the public.