Virtual Book & Beast – Wilson the Ball Python
Welcome back to Virtual Book &
Beast. I’m Kelly, Director of Education & Visitor Studies and
I’m Tricia, Family Programs Coordinator and today we’re going
to read the book, “Way Far Away on a Wild Safari,” by Jan Peck. Way far away on a wild safari, I’m
hunting for a lion for my grandma and me. I’m so brave. Can’t scare me. Way far away on a wild safari. Way far away on a
wild safari, I spy an elephant spraying at me. Hello, elephant. Hose
nose, elephant. See you later, elephant. Hike away. Way far
away on a wild safari, I spy a giraffe standing TALL above me.
Hello, giraffe your royal highness, giraffe. See you later, giraffe.
Hike away. Way far away on a wild safari, I
spy a hippopotamus sloshing by me. Hello, hippopotamus. Big bottom-a-mus, hippopotamus. See you later, hippopotamus. Hike away. Way far away on a wild safari, I spy a zebra zigzagging by me. Hello, zebra. Yikes! Stripes! Zebra.
See you later, Zebra. Hike away. Way far away on a wild safari, I spy a rhinoceros charging by me. Hello, rhinoceros. Whoa. Whoa.
Rhinoceros! See you later Rhinoceros. Hike away. You’re
finding a lot of animals on this safari. Way far away on a wild
safari, I spy a gorilla spying on me. Hello, gorilla. Thumbs-up, gorilla. See you later, gorilla. Hike away. Way far away on a wild safari, I
spy a wildebeest snorting at me. Hello, wildebeest. What’s gnu, wildebeest? See you later, wildebeest. Hike away. Way far away on a wild safari, I
spy a hyena laughing at me. Hello, hyena. Fetch a funny bone, hyena?
See you later, hyena. Hike away. Way far away on a wild safari, I
spy an ostrich dancing by me. Hello, ostrich. Shake your feathers,
ostrich. See you later, ostrich. Hike away. Way for a way on a wild safari, I spy a lion roaring at me. Good-bye, lion! Good-bye, ostrich! Good-bye, Hyena! Good-bye, wildebeest! Good-bye gorilla! Good-bye, rhinoceros! Good-bye, Zebra! Good-bye, hippopotamus! Good-bye, giraffe! Good-bye, elephant! Way back home from a wild safari, I find grandma waiting for me. Hello, Grandma! Guess
what, Grandma? I tamed a lion on a wild safari! It looks
like Grandma was busy baking all kinds of animal cookies that
we found on our safari and now we’re gonna get ready to meet an
animal that lives at Seneca Park Zoo, but in natural range would be found in the same part of the world. Hi everybody. This is Wilson
and Wilson is a ball python and he would normally live in Africa,
just like the other animals that we met on our wild
safari. Wilson here loves to eat mice. That’s his favorite food. Come
on Wilson. You can see that he would like to
slither around, so normally he would be found in places where there’s little bit of trees or brush because he does like to climb
trees even though he doesn’t have any hands. But he does have a very strong body.
He’s got lots and lots of muscles that help him to climb and
he’s got these nice smooth scales that help to keep him waterproof. So Tricia, I noticed that Wilson
was sticking his tongue out a little earlier. Can you tell me a little bit about that? It seems a little rude (laughs) Yeah snakes don’t
mean to be rude when they’re sticking out their tongue. That’s
just how they’re smelling so they don’t smell with their noses
like you and me, they smell with their tongue and that’s one
of the reasons that we think it’s forked because they can get
scent from two different sides. Just like we do with our nose. And
then they bring it into their mouth and they use their Jacobson’s organ to smell. That’s pretty cool. Wish we could do that.
I think they can smell better than us, so I kinda wish
that too. And so you mentioned he likes to eat mice, how many mice
does he eat a day? He doesn’t have to eat every day. Here
at the Zoo, he only gets fed once a week, and he only needs three
mice. So, think about that, if you only had to eat once a week.
Pretty incredible. But you can tell when he eats because you can
see his stomach gets a little bit fatter and then he has to sit
still for a long time and let it digest. And do we know about
how long Wilson is? In their natural range ball pythons
can be anywhere from three to six feet. I think he’s somewhere
around four, maybe four and a half. He doesn’t like to stretch
out all the way. Well he is a ball python. That’s true and it’s
funny that you said that because that’s really his favorite
position he would love to curl up into a ball and pretty much
sleep like that all the time, unless he had to eat. And so you did mention his scales.
It’s very nice skin and I don’t know some people have heard
of snakes being slimy. Do those scales feel slimy? Not at all. Yeah, some people do think that they look slimy
and that’s probably because they’re so shiny and that
happens even more so when they shed their skin, which they have
to do every time they grow, but they’re not slimy at all. It should
be nice and dry. It’s pretty neat animal. I almost
wish we had come across them on the safari in the book too.
Yeah, I think so too, but they would live in the same area
as those other animals and they might not want to interact with
them since they are quite a bit smaller than say a hippo! But they would be found in the same area, although maybe
up in a tree. So you mentioned that ball pythons live
in Africa, so we wouldn’t find these snakes around here, but we
obviously do have some snakes that live around us here. What should
we do if we see one, if we’re out on a safari? Yeah, absolutely.
So if you see a snake, it’s best just to let it be. Snakes
really don’t want to hurt people. They just kinda wanna do
their own thing. If you see a snake, just let it be and it won’t
hurt you. I’m sure they’re really good to have around if they’re
eating mice and rodents. Absolutely – Making sure that they’re not
a problem for us too. Snakes around here can eat all kinds
of things even frogs. Pretty cool! Well, I hope everybody
enjoyed getting to meet Wilson the ball python and joining
us for our Wild, Wild, Safari! so we’ll hope to see you again soon.