‘Animals of Connecticut’ found at Windsor Public Library

By Lisa Stone - ReminderNews
Windsor - posted Thu., Oct. 17, 2013
Windsor children’s librarian Bonnie Waterhouse and Environmental Protection Agency volunteer Fred Grilli make sure their display is in order before the spectators arrive. Photos by Lisa Stone.
Windsor children’s librarian Bonnie Waterhouse and Environmental Protection Agency volunteer Fred Grilli make sure their display is in order before the spectators arrive. Photos by Lisa Stone.

A broad range of animals native to Connecticut were on display at Windsor Public Library on Oct. 9, during an evening designed to teach children as well as adults how to cohabitate with the wild animals that are found in the region.

Children’s library program coordinator Bonnie Waterhouse teamed up with Environmental Protection Agency volunteer Fred Grilli for an educational evening on how to deal with these creatures when you run across them. “The best thing to do is walk away and leave the animals alone,” said Grilli. “The animals are wild. They may look cute and cuddly, but they are not dependent upon humans so they really don’t want to be bothered by us. Many people think they can make a pet out of the animals, but that just isn’t nature’s way. It is best to leave them to live the way they were intended to live - wild and free.”

According to Grilli, there is a great deal of work that goes into being a certified volunteer for the EPA. You are asked to learn quite a bit about nature, and then the organization decides when you are ready for certification.

“Many people do not realize that the beaver is actually a rodent,” said Waterhouse. “They are, in fact, the largest creature of the rodent family. They are great for the environment because not only do they build dams out of wood, but they also eat the wood, so that is one of nature’s way of cleaning up the rotting wood. When the beaver is finished with his lodge, it will move on to yet another area and start all over again. This allows other animals, such as the otter, to move into the lodge and live there for a while. After approximately 15 years, the lodge turns into a marsh, which is home to several other animals and birds.”

According to Waterhouse, otters eat snakes, worms, turtles and salamanders, among other small animals. Their babies are the size of a kitten. When full grown, the otter can reach up to 50 inches and weigh approximately 65 pounds. The spectators were intrigued by the lecture. Many said that they did not know most of the information about the animals. People were encouraged to come up to the front of the room and touch the pelts and view the skull replicas.

Amy Willard brought her daughters, Davina and Isabella, to see the exhibit. “When we got home, Mom said, ‘Guess where we’re going tonight?’” said Davina. “When I heard that it was about animals, I really wanted to go. I love animals.”

For more information about the upcoming events at the Windsor Public Library, call 860-285-1914.


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