During a visit from the East Bay Vivarium last week, a presenter introduced the enthralled ECPC kids to a variety of reptiles and insects. At one point, he showed them a Whip Scorpion and explained that it produces vinegar in its tail for defense.
“You know vinegar — we put it on salad,” he told the kids. “We have it for making potions!” piped up a child.
The kids sat rapt for an hour as they learned about tarantulas, lizards and other Vivarium pets in a show that wove gentle wisdom in with fun and learning. The introduction of a harmless reptile that postures to scare off potential attackers became a lesson on bullying: “Let me let you in on a secret,” intoned the visitor, leaning closer. “Bullies act scary because they’re scared.”
And the whole presentation was a reminder to treat our world, and the animals who share it, with respect. “Wild animals have as much right to be here as we do,” said the presenter. “We are the caretakers of this whole planet, and it is our responsibility to give these animals good lives. You can start by leaving them alone. When you leave today, you might see a wild animal, a lizard or a tarantula. I hope you enjoy seeing a wild animal and I hope you show it respect.”