BROOKINGS – The Zoo Man kicked off the summer reading season for the Brookings Public Library with the help of some friends.
Above, Zoo Man holds one end of Big Guy 14 while Children’s Librarian Katherine Eberline holds the tail with a lot of help from children in the audience to support the golden albino python, who is 3 years old and 10-12 feet long. Zoo Man said Big Guy’s mother is now as long as the library’s Cooper Room is wide.
Below, Holden Bunkers, 5, of Aurora, reacts to having Razor, the royal python, under his hat. Zoo Man said Razor is 31 years old. He also brought Razor’s mate Rocky to the library. Rocky’s former owner turned her in to Zoo Man when they were no longer able to care for her. She’s now pregnant.
Below, the children in the audience got a chance to pet two Russian tortoises that Zoo Man brought. It was the first time that Ma and Pa had been out in public. Females are larger than the males. Zoo Man said that Ma is pregnant and last year she laid 17 eggs. Although they are called Russian tortoises, they actually come from Iraq. They are omnivorous, which means they eat meat and vegetables, including nightcrawlers, lettuce, bananas and tomatoes.
Brent Mielke has been making appearances as Zoo Man for 31 years, and this is the 25th year he’s visited Brookings. He runs Zoo Man’s Wacky World of Fun in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota. He encouraged the kids to sign up for the library’s summer reading program. The more books that are read, the more colors Eberline’s hair will be dyed. Sign up with the library.