Halloween is a very exciting time for me. When you work with animals that people consider downright scary, there is always a chance you'll have the opportunity to share them someway and somehow. For me, that would be on television and radio, and over the years I've made some fantastic memories doing just that. (Can you guess which pumpkin is mine?)
For one, Halloween is a time when I get to work with animals I normally wouldn't work with on a regular basis. For years I've been using Gila Monsters for local TV and radio. They have to be one of my favorite lizards, and even though they are one of the few venomous lizards in the world, they have fantastic personalities! Here I'm pictured with Sleepy, who was confiscated by Idaho Fish and Game after he was illegally taken out of the wild. Because of state laws, Sleepy can no longer be returned to the wild. He and the others now serve as animal ambassadors and educate the community.
I love how thrilled the anchor looks in this photo! A lot of the animals I showcase around this time of year are ones that most people give a bad wrap. Here I'm dispelling the myth that toads cause warts!
Or that tarantulas are scary creatures that are only out to bite humans! They happen to be so incredibly beneficial for the ecosystem by keeping insect populations in check. Charlotte also happened to be one of the most gentle creatures I've ever been able to work with.
One animal I was thrilled to work with on a national level was the wolf; a creature that has been plagued by countless myths and legends for being gruesome, man-eating creatures that should be exterminated. They happen to be one of my favorite North American predators and keep prey populations in check. When wolves aren't in a certain area, the herbivores will over graze the vegetation, which won't allow new growth necessary for healthy ecosystems. What better way to put wolves in a positive light than appearing on "The Today Show" with them on Halloween? Check out the segment below:
"Bug", the giant Emperor Scorpion was another animal I was excited to work with one Halloween. I have to be honest; even though I used to have one years ago, it was still intimidating holding him! Funny thing is, "Bug" isn't even an insect! They're an arachnid in the same class as spiders.
Something I had always dreamed of doing was featuring bats during one of my Halloween Segments. My dream came true when my good friend Maddy, the founder of Animals in Distress Association, brought a few rescued bats she was rehabilitating to a local radio station. She is one of the only people who is licensed to rehabilitate bats in the state of Idaho. You can imagine I was thrilled!!! Maddy dispelled many common myths that morning over the radio, including how bats aren't blind and that they don't suck our blood.
I couldn't write a blog about Halloween without mentioning one of my favorite shows to stop by; "Mike and Kate in the Morning." I've had so many great memories here and have celebrated more than one Halloween with the hilarious DJs. Check out the highlights above during Halloween 2013.
I wish everyone a safe and happy Halloween!