Talk on the wild side for group’s 30th birth­day bash

Macclesfield Express - - HEART OF THE COMMUNITY - RHI­AN­NON MCDOWALL

MEM­BERS of the Ma c c l e s f i e l d RSPB Wildlife Ex­plor­ers turned their at­ten­tion to crea­tures from a lit­tle fur­ther afield as part of their 30th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tions.

The group wel­comed Jonathan Clev­erly to their meet­ing, who brought along a whole range of an­i­mals and in­sects from Mada­gas­car, Peru and Mex­ico as part of his Jun- gle Road­show. The ex­plor­ers got close to an in­cred­i­ble se­lec­tion of crea­tures in­clud­ing Max­imus the gi­ant mil­li­pede, Elsa the Mar­tinique pink toed taran­tula, and Ruby the Mex­i­can red knee taran­tula.

Jonathan’s video cam­era gave the group an amaz­ing close-up view of all the an­i­mals and showed one of the spi­ders spin­ning some silk.

The fi­nal vis­i­tor, Na­cho the Mex­i­can black king snake, was the high­light of the night. Na­cho in­ves­ti­gates his en­vi­ron­ment with his dry, tickly tongue and Ex­plor­ers were all able to not only hold him but also feel his tongue for them­selves on the back of hands or even on noses.

Like many of our na­tive an­i­mals, Jonathan ex­plained that many of the species he takes round schools and groups are un­der threat from hu­man ac­tion and cli­mate change.

He ex­plained that none of his an­i­mals have been col­lected from the wild and that all were bred in this coun­try.

The group asked some ex­cel­lent ques­tions dur­ing the meet­ing and Jonathan shared all he knew about th­ese an­i­mals and re­lated it back to Bri­tish Wildlife.

This meet­ing was also a cel­e­bra­tion of 30 years of the Mac­cles­field RSPB Wildlife Ex­plor­ers and the group made time for birth­day cake and a rous­ing ren­di­tion of ‘Happy Birth­day’.

Martin James, group leader, said, “We are so grate­ful to Jun­gle Jonathan for com­ing to visit us and shar­ing his pas­sion for an­i­mals.

“His en­thu­si­asm is in­fec­tious and any of the group mem­bers who started the meet­ing a lit­tle ner­vous left this ex­tra spe­cial meet­ing with a lot less fear and tonnes of fas­ci­nat­ing in­for­ma­tion.”

For more on the ex­plor­ers fol­low them on twit­ter @Mac­cWildlife or go to mac­cles­fiel­dr­spb.org.uk.

●●

Natasha James and Kirstie Boyd enjoy some birth­day cake (left). Right: Jonathan Clev­erly greets one of his snakes dur­ing his show for the Mac­cles­field RSPB Wildlife Ex­plor­ers

●● Dy­lan Szos­tokow­icz gets his nose tick­led by Na­cho the Mex­i­can black king snake (left). Above: one of the taran­tu­las

●● Oliver Carter meets a stick in­sect dur­ing the Jun­gle Road­show

●● Mac­cles­field RSPB Wildlife Ex­plor­ers at the 30th birth­day event

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