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Herps Alive Reptile Rescue visits Martin Elementary School

A yellow boa constrictor was presented to students at Martin Elementary Friday. (Photo by Douglass Huxley)

PARKERSBURG — Students at Martin Elementary were treated to a visit from some scaly creatures Friday when Keith Gisser, a herpetologist and reptile handler from Herps Alive Reptile Rescue, brought some friends to meet them.

Gisser introduced students to such reptiles as turtles, bearded dragons, tegus (a species of South American lizard), a blue-tongued skink, “who doesn’t stink,” and of course, snakes. There was also a frog, a member of the amphibian family.

Students shrieked with delight and amazement as Gisser brought out each reptile, with the biggest show of excitement coming when Benny, the 15-foot-long Burmese python, was introduced.

Gisser would introduce each reptile, explain where they could be found in nature, talk about what they eat, and then walk around to allow the students to interact with each first hand.

A brave group of students volunteered to come up and hold Benny to demonstrate the incredible length these reptiles can grow to become.

Students at Martin Elementary were able to pet a California King Snake during Friday’s reptile show. (Photo by Douglass Huxley)

Herps Alive Reptile Rescue is a non-profit foundation from South Euclid, Ohio, that takes in unwanted, abused and neglected reptiles, as well as offering adoptable reptiles and amphibians, gently used equipment, guided tours, educational programs and more. They have rescued reptiles from over 15 states and have made appearances at over 200 college campuses and schools in 36 states. They can be reached at herpsalive@earthlink.net.

Douglass Huxley can be reached at dhuxley@newsandsentinel.com

Pictured from left, Keith Gisser of Herps Alive Reptile Rescue; Paxton Arnott, kindergarten; Fletcher Nguyen, kindergarten; Liam Jenkins, third grade; Tiana Morris, fifth grade; Chelsea Hall, second grade; Lilah Beltcher, first grade; and Paige McCutcheon, fourth grade, held out a yellow boa constrictor Friday to demonstrate the length these reptiles can reach. (Photo by Douglass Huxley)

Reptile handler Keith Gisser, from Herps Alive Reptile Rescue, talked to students as a bearded dragon rested on his head. (Photo by Douglass Huxley)

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