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    Most people are frightened to some level of bugs. But Barry the Madagascar Hissing Cockroach is a friendly nocturnal creature. Though some were too afraid to pet him, others enjoyed the chance to feel his carapace.

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    Mintenko holds Ratatouille up close. This black rat snake may look small now, but he is one of the longest snakes in North America and could grow to be up to eight feet long. It is also completely non-venomous and constricts its favourite meal: the rat.

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    There are more than 1.5 billion cane toads in Australia and the amphibian has become the poster child for invasive, destructive species. As amphibians, they also breathe using their skin, which Mintenko demonstrates using Kermit. Their skin is also very toxic and secretes a chemical that can harm humans and animals. The kids were not allowed to touch him for safety’s sake.



Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo takes part in Library’s March Break program

By Patricia Leboeuf

Posted on Thursday April 4, 2019

Are snakes actually slimy? Can toads give you warts? Do cockroaches actually carry disease? Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo helped bust some of these pervasive myths about bugs, reptiles and amphibians. On March 15 at the Petawawa Civic Centre, Wildlife Educator Natasha Mintenko brought a wide variety of creatures for kids and their parents to see, touch and learn about. Most of these animals were rescued from homes that could no longer take care of them and are now ambassadors. Little Ray’s has a zoo in Ottawa with over 150 animals, which include giant pythons, huge alligators, cobras, rattlesnakes, tarantulas, marmosets, and birds of prey. The Petawawa Public Library made the visit possible as part of their annual March Break fun activities. The show had been in such great demand that the location was moved from the library to the upstairs hall. (Photos by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)