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“Long Island’s Favorite Zoologist” Wows Bellingham Audience

Aug 09, 2017 06:00AM ● By Pamela Johnson

Nature Nick's guest holds Pogo in his special carrying pouch

story & photo by Kehma Johnson, Contributing Writer

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! While these weren’t the actual animals present at Long Island’s Favorite Zoologist Nature Nick’s recent show at the Bellingham Library, the audience still got an eyeful.
Nature Nick began the show by displaying an albino African milk snake. The non-poisonous reptile wowed the kids in the audience, and one of the children even held it. Nick then introduced an educational component to his show by describing common qualities of snakes, such as their inability to hear and their lack of eyelids.

The next animal that he brought out was an African pigmy—think “Sonic, the Hedgehog”—named Sprinkles (because it looks like a scoop of vanilla ice cream), which fit right in the palm of his hand.

The third animal was a Russian eagle owl that Nick encouraged to flap its wings and fly around the room a bit. Luckily, it was on a leash to prevent any mishaps, but it still provided quite a bit of excitement for the attendees. After discussing some interesting anatomy about the owl’s neck and eyeballs, Nick then put the great bird back into its cage.
While he was careful not to have it bite anyone, Nature Nick showcased a North American alligator.  He had it display its razor-sharp teeth, which produced a chorus of “oohs” and “aahs” from the large crowd of both children and adults that had come for this installment of the Library’s Summer Reading Program.

Next was a fennec fox, native to Africa and better known as a desert fox, which is distinctive for its unusually large ears, which help to dissipate the desert heat. Nick made the fox available to have pictures taken with at the end of the show.
A capuchin monkey by the name of Lona was the second-to-last animal exhibited. Nick tossed her cookies, which she was adept at catching and then hiding and eating them. Capuchin monkeys are well known as the “organ grinder” monkeys. Nick explained that Lona was given to him by the NYPD after she was discovered to be illegally living with a family there.
The last animal brought out by Nature Nick was a baby kangaroo named Pogo, which had been rejected by his mother after falling out of her pouch at a zoo. After being held by one of the children in the crowd, Pogo hopped across the room and was then put back into his special carry-on pouch.

Nature Nick provided the audience with quite a spectacle of a show, mixing humor and education into an hour of animal presentations. It’s no wonder he’s earned the title of “Long Island’s Favorite Zoologist.” To learn more, visit Nick's website,






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