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Reptiles bring Joy to DTL

By Julia Beauregard
Hometown Weekly Correspondent

Local youths did not have to travel to their nearest zoo to interact with desert and rainforest animals last Wednesday, as Joy Marzolf from Joys of Nature visited the Dover Town Library’s community room to give a presentation on how these animals are able to adapt to their respective environments.

Marzolf offered audience members an up-close-and-personal look at a number of critters that accompanied her to the library — this way, the crowd could spot all the differences between the animals and gain a better understanding on how their unique adaptations allow them to survive in their specialized habitats.

The crowd was presented with a wide range of reptiles, including an Australian bearded dragon, a blue-tongued skink, a veiled chameleon, and various types of snakes. The children delighted in petting the different creatures as they were brought around the room for observation.

For each individual animal presented, Marzolf provided information about what type of reptile it was, how it was related to the other creatures on display, what environment it lived in, and what different physical attributes the animal had to better equip it to thrive within its environment.

An engaging presenter, Marzolf gave a very performative presentation, asking questions as she brought the animals around and speaking in a way that her audience would understand. It kept the young children active and interested. Each time a new creature was introduced to the crowd, the audience members erupted in gasps and exclamations.

Even more exciting for those in attendance were the opportunities to touch the reptiles. The kids were invited to raise their hands to volunteer to hold the critters before Marzolf put them back into the respective traveling homes. Children eagerly and politely waited to be picked as the trusty volunteer.

Allowing her audience members to interact with the reptiles by petting them and holding them taught the children an important lesson on how to be respectful to these creatures by properly interacting with them. Absorbing Joy’s instruction, the children were still and quiet as they felt the reptiles wriggling and jiggling within their grasps.

While the crowd did seem a bit standoffish when the snakes were introduced, Marzolf used this as the perfect opportunity to teach her audience members that snakes, and other animals, often sport a bad reputation, but they are vital to our ecosystem. “Snakes save people!” she exclaimed, before explaining that snakes eat rodents, which spread disease — therefore they make our world a safer place.

Safe within the confines of the DTL, Joy Marzolf gave curious children a glimpse of creatures from the rainforest and desert — and left them all smiling.

For more information on Joys of Nature, visit

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