Ijams Nature Center features critters at weekly event

Every Saturday, Ijams Nature Center presents an up close look at a different animal during their Creature Feature event.

Screech Owl

Turkey Vulture
A turkey vulture was shown at one of the more recent creature features.
Teresa Cooper/TNJN

Every Saturday, Ijams Nature Center presents an up close look at a different animal during their Creature Feature event.

Staff veterinarian, Dr. Louise Conrad explains why it is an important opportunity for the community.

“It shows the community the various animals we have and it showcases the native wildlife found here at Ijams,” said Conrad.

The animals that are presented vary from week to week. Ijams has shown everything from small birds to snakes to turtles to raptors, like the turkey vulture.

Park visitors, Jayce, 8,and Hazel, 7, were anxious to discuss what they enjoyed at their first Creature Feature attendance.

Jayce said he liked the Turkey Vulture best, “Because it was bigger than the screech owl.”

However, Hazel liked the screech owl best.

“Owls are my favorite animals,” said Hazel. “They’re just very pretty and I like seeing them around.”

When asked what animals are most popular with the children, Dr. Conrad said, “They get really into the snakes and spiders.”

Conrad continues, “I think the bigger birds impress them more than the smaller birds, but they are every bit as fascinated by the spiders.”

Screech Owl
Screech Owl’s are a part of the presentation too.
Teresa Cooper/TNJN

It does take some special training to be a handler of the animals for Creature Feature, but not all handlers are veterinarians.

Volunteers can be taught how to handle the animals. “After volunteering for a year or two at Ijams, some of our volunteers will actually handle some of the animals,” said Conrad.

Creature Feature takes place every Saturday, year round. The showings are at 10 a.m, 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. It is free and open to the public.

For more information, click here.

Edited by Jessica Carr

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