Animals in the House! La Jolla Library welcomes critters to Summer Reading Program event

Lions and tigers and bears? More like armadillos, kinkajous and snakes, oh my! The educational outreach organization Wild Wonders brought some animal friends to the La Jolla Library July 17 as part of the summer reading program. After learning more about the animals, the room full of young spectators was encouraged to read more about the creatures, such as this armadillo (pictured below with handler Michael Donnellon), and their habitats.

Holly Jolly the Armadillo

Wild Wonders of Bonsall in North County travels to schools, rec centers and libraries to introduce young people to critters’ habits and their contributions to ecosystems. As the event was associated with the Summer Reading Program, branch manager Shaun Briley said, “Kids who attend are given a special code that is unique to that event. With it, they can go online and download an electronic badge to keep.”

Some brave young animal lovers try to hold a boa constrictor snake with assistance from animal keepers Alanna Cappelli and Michael Donnellon, but it was heavier than they expected!
Participants got the chance to touch certain animals, such as the tail of a kinkajou.
Animal keeper Alanna Cappelli says kinkajous are found in tropical forests from Southern Mexico to Brazil.
La Jolla’s Riford Library was filled with young animal lovers July 17.
Tater Tot the porcupine
Tater Tot the porcupine
Hissing Cockroaches from Madagascar. (There are two cockroaches in this photo — can you spot them both?)
Animal keeper Michael Donnellon shows Sally the Snapping Turtle, encouraging people to keep their fingers away from her, as she might confuse them for her favorite snacks, hot dogs.