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RAD Zoo visits Pleasant Hill Library

Six volunteers from the audience joined Pastika up front to hold one of the snakes and demonstrate it's length. (Star Gazette photos by Michelle Wirth)1 / 5
This treefrog was the first animal to make an appearance during the presentation from RAD Zoo.2 / 5
The room was packed with children adults eager to see the reptiles.3 / 5
Children had lots of questions about the animals.4 / 5
At the end of the presentation, audience members had the opportunity to touch some of the animals.5 / 5

The Reptile and Amphibian Discovery Zoo (RAD Zoo) visited the Pleasant Hill Library March 15. An assortment of snakes, lizards, frogs and turtles were brought to the library.

Jamie Pastika, the executive director at RAD Zoo, brought an assortment of reptiles and amphibians including snakes, lizards, frogs and turtles. Pastika took one animal out at a time and described its habitat and features. For example: the tortoise that he brought to the presentation has the potential to live for more than 60 years. The South American turtle that he brought has a long neck and can't fit its entire neck inside of its shell. Pastika also brought a legless lizard that looks like a snake but is actually considered to be a type of lizard.

Pastika answered several questions that the audience had for him throughout his presentation. Following the presentation, audience members were allowed to touch the animals in a controlled setting.

RAD Zoo is a reptile display that opened in 2009 and is located in Owatonna. The zoo is in an indoor facility that is open year round. Guests can visit more than 150 kinds of snakes, turtles, lizards, crocodilians, toads, frogs and salamanders from all over the world. Guests have the opportunity to feed salad to the tortoises or pellets to the pond turtles.

Michelle Wirth

Michelle Wirth graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 2013 with a degree in journalism and web design. She worked as a web content editor for a trade association before coming to the Hastings Star Gazette in 2016.

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