Fiona Thompson, MHWI member, writes:
‘We had a great night encountering the exotic animals that The Party Animals Limited brought along to show us. Here are a few of the highlights:
‘First up were Gary the Crested Gecko and a beautiful Salmon Pink Bird Eater Tarantula. Some of our ladies had to stand well away from the tarantula but many were happy to hold him and admire his fantastic colouring. The animal handlers, Lee and Amanda, were very knowledgeable and experienced. Amanda explained that the Crested Gecko was thought to be extinct up until 1996 when it was rediscovered in Southern New Caledonia off the coast of Australia.
‘Next up was a Blue Tongued Skink from Australia who was a rescue animal and had a few toes missing from being kept with larger lizards. The Party Animals have quite a few rescue animals and they don’t tend to keep them in enclosures together except for when they are breeding. The Skink looked in the best of health now though, living on a diet of small rodents and insects.
‘Dave the Albino Python caused the biggest stir with some different ladies having to pop out of the room this time! We had plenty of volunteers to hold him though which was quite a feat as he weighs a stone and a half. He lives on a diet of rabbit and the heaviest python that the Party Animals have weighs over nine stone!
‘Once we had seen the reptiles, we also were treated to animals of a more cuddly variety, including a Raccoon (who was like a cuddly bear), a Meer cat (who giggled when tickled) and perhaps most unusually a Tenrec. A Tenrec is part of the elephant family but looks like a large shrew. It can have up to 32 in a litter (most of whom survive). It has prickles all over its back which can cause an allergic reaction so we couldn’t touch it though. Plenty of cuddles were had with the Raccoon instead! It was a fascinating evening!’