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VIDEO: Up close and personal with snakes and owls on Family Day in Maple Ridge

Hundreds came out to the Maple Ridge Lions Club Winter Family Fun Day

The Maple Ridge Lions Club welcomed hundreds of people to the Albion Fairgrounds for Family Day on Monday.

Festivities began at 10 a.m. and continued to 3 p.m. where people had the opportunity to learn about snakes, and owls, play games, and enjoy a giant spool of cotton candy.

Cat Foxe, with a group of volunteers from The Westcoast Reptile Education Society, was showing off their reptiles and children – as well as adults had the opportunity to hold one of about 10 snakes they had on display.

A 6-year-old ball python nicknamed Lemmie, named after the hockey player Mario Lemieux because there is one in 66 per cent chance of finding an albino in the wild, and Lemieux’ number was 66, was a favourite to hold.

“Their real name is royal python, but everyone calls them a ball python, because when they are scared they go in a ball,” explained Foxe, noting the snake is found mostly in Africa

A 16-year-old boa constrictor Foxe had around her neck, she explained was found in Central America.

The group, explained Foxe, volunteer their time to bring their own animals to community festivals to help people overcome their fear of snakes.

“It’s a passion project,” said the North Delta resident who has 17 of her own snakes at home, most of which were re-homed and rescued.

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Snakes were not the only interesting animal on display at the Lions Club Winter Festival, guest also had the opportunity to get up and close to a barred owl named Chico.

Tina Kirkpatrick, who was helping out with Raptors Ridge Birds of Prey on Monday, explained to children that Chico had about 12,000 feathers on him and their feathers have little hooks so that when they fly you can’t hear them.

As Big As Your Head Cotton Candy Company were on hand selling cotton candy that, indeed, exceeded the head size of all the children who lined up to purchase some.

There was popcorn by donation to the local Lions club, games for the children, and a local artisan market with everything from keychains, to bathing products, to 3D printed art – with a 3D printer to demonstrate the process.

Concession was also run by the Lions Club.

Colleen Flanagan

About the Author: Colleen Flanagan

I got my start with Black Press Media in 2003 as a photojournalist.
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