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FAIR HAVEN: TEETH, CLAWS, PRICKLES & PEW

travisgaleamybeatrice-5032698Naturalist Travis Gale, pictured with friendly skunk in a recent NJ school appearance, visits Fair Haven’s Church of the Nativity on Wednesday for a program that demonstrates how Earth’s incredible creatures (including fennec fox Amy Beatrice, right) survive in the wild.  

A little over ten years ago, Travis Gale was a veteran environmental educator for the Monmouth County Parks System, with a sideline as a traveling specialist in edu-taining “Mad Science” presentations. As a field biologist, his claim to fame was in conducting the first radio tracking program of baby pine snakes in the New Jersey Pine Barrens — but in 2005, the naturalist shed his “Snakes ‘n Scales” gig to establish Wallaby Tales, a company dedicating to educating young audiences in the ways and wonders of our fellow mammals.

On Wednesday evening, March 11, the Monmouth County Audubon Society presents its annual “Family Night” presentation; hosting Travis Gale and his program “What Big Teeth You Have!” in a public-welcome program at The Church of the Nativity in Fair Haven. Scheduled for 7 pm and designed for elementary school age children and their families, the program focuses on some of the smaller mammals of the wild, and the ways in which they defend themselves and successfully make a living in a landscape of predators.

It’s a talk that touches upon features like the sharp claws of the raccoon-like Coatimundi, the sharp teeth of the Short-tailed Opossum, the sharp senses of the Fennec Fox, and of course the sharp aroma of our local neighbor the Skunk. Some wild animals will be present at the presentation; possible guests that “could be as small as a hedgehog or as large as a wallaby.” It’s also one of several different traveling presentations offered by Gale and his staff at Eyes of the Wild, the Washington, NJ nature center that he’s owned since 2006 — and where he encourages visitors to “share his vision to LEAP (Learn, Enjoy, Advocate and Protect) into wildlife.” There’s no charge to attend the event, and no reservations are required.

Remember: Nothing makes a Red Bank friend happier than to hear "I saw you on Red Bank Green!"
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