Wild Kingdom Draws Crowd at Arts Fest
July 08, 2015 4:50 PM
by Abhar Shah
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The fur was really flying at the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts as crowds of curious kids got up close and personal with menagerie of wild creatures.

There were birds of prey, snakes, animal pelts and more, courtesy of the folks at Penn State's Shaver's Creek Environmental Center.

"All the animals that we have on display can be found in your backyard," says Eve Beaury, education intern at Shaver's Creek. "We want to show people all of the cool animals found in their Pennsylvania."

The wild critters (and some stuffed ones too) were all on full display inside a tent parked on the Old Main lawn. Dozens of kids and their parents watch wide-eyed as handlers held up animals while talking about their place in the ecosystem.

One of the most popular attractions was a table covered in animal pelts including opossum, raccoon, skunk, fox, bobcat, coyote and more.

"All of the pelts you see are real animal skins," says Katy Cook, environmental educator at Shaver's Creek. "And all the animals are natives of Pennsylvania."

Right next to the animal pelts display was the snake table. Beaury brought out a live six-foot long snake which caught the attention of State College native Amanda Green and her son.

"My son loves snakes so he really wanted to visit this tent," says Green. "We found snakes in our driveway one time and it's neat to learn about the types of snake around our area."

It didn't end there. A stuffed turtle was on display right next some snake skins that kids couldn't seem to resist touching.

State College resident Jeremy Colm has been coming to The Central Pennsylvania Festival of Arts for years. He was drawn to the Shaver's Creek tent by the sight of a Great Horned Owl.

"I love birds and when I saw the owl I thought it was pretty cool," says Colm. "My son is also very interested in animals so I brought him with me to show him some of the cool animals in our area."

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