BW That was an excellent, well-written post! I occasionally do educational programs (behalf of Samba's Reptile Rescue; SambasReptileRescue@Hotmail.Com
) with animals I've rescued and decided to keep.
There were some good ideas in there that I hadn't thought to try! Just goes to show you can ALWAYS learn something new everyday!
As for snake size, usually I don't like to see children around large pythons, but my Burm, Bandula, is 14 feet long, and about as sweet as a pussycat. I never handle this snake alone, and during education displays I ALWAYS make sure his head/neck region is secured by two persons the whole time. I don't want to scare them, or give them the impression that the snake is bad, but at the same time I don't want accidents to happen. I've considered retiring Bandula (on account of his size), but he's just so patient and wonderful! What do you think?
(My other educational animals include Dahli, a Gerrhosaurus nigrolineatus, Iggy, green iguana, Darwin and Girl, Leopard Geckos (but these are my pets and breeders, not rescues), and finally Bo, a big 'ol Red-Eared Slider. My target audience usually consists of persons thinking about purchasing reptiles, and some animals represent 'good' reptilian pets vs. 'not so good' (i.e. large, potentially aggressive). My program is based around that. I also do the ecology talks, and sometimes we have native species on hand.
Once again, great post!