Sandy Creek Nature Center is offering a special event for children and adults, tied to the Halloween Season. It allowed them to interact with scary, oozy and slimy animals such as live snakes, tarantulas, jellyfish and much more. These animals usually catch a bad rap, but Sandy Creek Nature Center’s mission was to kill this age-old myth.
The Sandy Creek Nature Center held its annual Scar Oozy Slimy Day this past weekend. The event is designed to show kids and parents that some creatures thought of as gross or scary are harmless and actually play vital roles in our ecosystem. Eight year old Jillian Harris has had the opportunity to interact with strange animals, but not on this scale.
“I have had the opportunity to touch some sea animals but I think the looking is really good to, because I’ve seen cannon ball jelly fish before but these ones did not look like the ones from South Carolina” said Harris.
Reptiles, arachnids, and sea animals were just some of the many creatures featured at the event. However, the children in attendance were completely unfazed, even handling spiders 3 times the size of their hand. While handling these animals, the main message volunteers such as Jared Bullock want to get across is that there is no reason for people to fear these creatures.
“They all have a certain place and role in the world, so even though they might be scary to us they all have a very important roll that they play outdoors. Whether they are recycling things, their presence is needed. Mostly animals are not really a threat to you in this area. If you see an animal that scares you the best thing to do is just stay away from it and it will stay away from you,” said Bullock.
The annual event is typically a success, but last year’s event was cancelled due to its very small turnout. Event organizer and naturalist Kate Mowbray vas very happy to see that not only the turn out was fantastic, but also people were able to have fun and learn again about the importance of the ecosystem.
“What I really love is just seeing the kids when they come out. Some of them come out in costume and they get into the spirit of things. Watching them touch things, that they’ve never had a chance to touch before like a jelly fish or a sea urchin, the tarantula can crawl up their arm that’s something they don’t get to do everyday,” said Mowbray.
The reaction from parents was also very positive. Parent Julie Green enjoyed the festivities so much, they are already planning on bringing her daughter back next year.
“Being able to bring my child out on a Saturday afternoon, I think its great. All the information was really informative with the science and cool facts, so we will definitely be back next year,” said Green.
For more information about the Sandy Creek Nature center or to further learn about how to improve our ecosystem you can visit their site.