Creepy crawlies return to tantalize Lloydminster

By Geoff Lee

March 3, 2016 11:04 AM

Getting up close and persona; with a 'gator.

Birds of prey, reptiles and creepy crawlies from pole to pole will interact with the public when the Wildlife Festival returns to Lloydminster this weekend.
The Lloydminster Stockade Convention Centre will host a menagerie of creatures and special presentations suitable for all ages March 5-6.
The Canadian Raptor Conservancy is bringing owls, eagles and a peregrine falcon with scheduled bird in flight demonstrations.
Little Ray’s Zoo and The Backyard Conservation Fund of Canada will be on hand with pythons, rat snakes, tarantulas, scorpions, tortoises, and more with a spectacular Diversity of Living Things Show.
“It’s to educate people on the importance of responsible pet ownership and the importance of conservation – not just wildlife conservation, but backyard conservation,” said Kyle Lawrie wildlife coordinator with Little Ray’s Zoo.
“It’s very fun and very educational.”
The standout attractions include an 18-month old red kangaroo, an alligator, a bald eagle and a hairy tarantula.
“People get a kick of out of the tarantula and getting a chance to hold one,” said Lawrie.
The doors open at 9 a.m Saturday for a one-hour exclusive show for families of children with special needs.
The main show begins at 10 a.m. with tickets available at the door. Admission is $12.50 per person with children under two admitted free.
Check the wildlifefestival.ca website on how to get in for just $10 a person.                   
There will be two alternating 30 minute presentations by the Canadian Raptor Conservancy and Little Ray’s Zoo starting at 10:15 a.m. in addition to 20 live animal exhibits.
Most of the birds of prey were born in captivity while 90 per cent of the zoo reptiles are rescued or unwanted pets which plays into Lawrie’s educational message.
He wants the public to know animals like a tortoise and an alligator are not meant to be pets.
“We are Canada’s largest reptile rescue, so we’ve had animals brought to us who don’t know how big an animal gets or how long they live,” he said.
Lawrie said to some people it’s fairly common sense, but to other’s it’s not.

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