Animal Adventures, based in Bolton, MA, brought their traveling zoo to Pakachoag Church Friday night.  Kids got up close and personal with a furry chinchilla, a prickly hedgehog, and one really big snake, among other creatures.

During the hour show, Scott the animal handler introduced the audience to a variety of reptiles, amphibians, and mammals.  To everyone’s surprise, Scott’s “best friend at the zoo” was a skunk! Fortunately for all, the skunk had had its scent glands removed.  Many of the children were surprised at how soft the animal was.  Let’s hope they don’t try to pet one they may come across in the backyard…

According to the handler, the skunk was a rescue animal, and is now a favorite at the Bolton Animal Adventures facility, which is open for public visits.

IMG_9336

Photo Jeff LaBonte

Scott shared many fascinating facts about each of the animals in his menagerie, and kept the audience engaged the entire show.  He brought most of the animals around and allowed the children to gently touch the creatures so they could feel the difference between the animals’ skin or shells. He also brought volunteers to the front to “assist” with his presentation.  One of the highlights was the 12′ boa constrictor he asked several of the audience members to hold up for him while he talked about the reptile.

The program was the first Family Fun Friday in Pakachoag Church’s 2014-2015 program series.  According to program director, Lainey Hanlon, last year’s events were extremely well received.  “We want to keep the programs free or very inexpensive.  We’d also like to use the programs to benefit the community.  So we’ll be asking people to bring non-perishable food items, or items to go in Christmas gift boxes for example.  We’ll distribute them to area families or food pantries like AYFS or Kateri’s Kitchen at North American Martyrs across the street” Hanlon said.

The next program is Pakachoag’s Halloween party on October 17th at 6pm.  Again, the party is free, but registration is requested so that there are enough supplies and goodies for everyone.  Said Hanlon, “Last year it was huge.  It was so much fun.  But we want to make sure we have enough for all the kids, so we’ll begin taking registrations on October 1.

Hanlon said people can visit the Pakachoag web site at www.pakachoag.org or the Pakachoag Church Facebook page to catch up on upcoming events.