There’s nothing like the feel of a warm creature in the palms of your hands — in this case, an Emperor scorpion — to drive home the reality of life from another country. . .
As a Black History Month celebratory event, a little bit of Africa was transported to Val Verde Park. Live creatures on display Saturday included hissing cockroaches.
Many of the kids present were eager to interact with the snakes, scorpions and even porcupine quills. Others shied away from handling the beasties, but still were attracted to the goings-on.
“Today’s program is about Africa,” said Frank Hoffman, recreation services supervisor at Val Verde Park.
Hoffman, who has worked at the Placerita Canyon Natural Area and Nature Center, colloquially is known as “Ranger Frank,” and is adept at handling animals. He also knows his way around plant life.
Turnout during the beginning of the celebration was light, but the kids present were fascinated by the insect exhibition. Brent Karner, coordinator of The Insect Zoo at the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum, brought a selection of exotic African insects to the park. Under his careful guidance, some of the children held an Emperor scorpion in their hands.
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