HUDSON — While most people want to run away as soon as they set their eyes on a snake, a local farm wants to put one in a child’s hands to decrease their fear.
Last week, DunnDee Farms made a stop at three Pasco County Library System branches and brought their cold-blooded friends to show off. Stacy Dunn, owner, led the educational events and discussed reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates.
She normally brings 10 animals to each show. Some of the creatures that were shown off during these reptile events include snakes, tarantulas, scorpions, geckos and lizards.
Dunn said that the rhinoceros iguana is normally the biggest hit with the crowd due to its size. An adult rhino iguana can range in size from 2 to 4 feet long.
DunnDee Farms bring livestock animals and reptiles to libraries, schools and birthday parties to give youngsters a chance to learn about the animals and interact with them. The mini farm animal events include a visit from livestock such as a mini donkey, mini goat, mini sheep, chickens, a dwarf rabbit and a mini pig.
Dunn said that the library events stemmed from conversations she has sparked up with library staff during her regular visits there.
The goal of the educational presentations is for people to learn about the creatures and why they are important to the world.
Dunn said, I want them to learn about them, how to help protect them, and help protect the environment. I want to teach them about why the animals are here and what their jobs are.
She said that there are a lot of fears surrounding insects and reptiles. One of the most common misconceptions that she tries to disprove is that all snakes are aggressive.
“In the wild they have to protect themselves,” Dunn said.
Chelsea Berkley, a librarian at Hudson Regional Library, likes how the event combined the two most important things to a child.
“It’s educational and it’s fun at the same time,” Berkley said.
More than 65 children attended the reptile presentation at the Hudson library.
Berkley also learned a few interesting facts herself, like how different types of scorpions have various levels of potency in their venom.
Besides making a stop at Hudson Regional Library on Tuesday, Dunn continued to make the rounds in Pasco County libraries throughout the week, at the Centennial Park Branch Library, in the Holiday area, and Regency Park Branch Library, east of Port Richey.
DunnDee Farms is based in Pasco, but also travel for presentations in Pinellas, Manatee, Hernando and Hillsborough counties.
For more information, visit dunndeefarms.com.