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The benefits of getting up close with reptiles

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Grace Mills holds a bearded dragon during 'Reptile Roundup' on Wednesday.

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) - Reptiles often spark interest and fascination in young children and even adults.

It's one of the main reasons that WisCorps created their Reptile Roundup program. Every Wednesday from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. throughout the year, the public is welcome to look at the different reptiles housed at Myrick Park.

People can ask questions, get a closer look at these creatures, and even hold them at times. The goal is to help build an appreciation, especially in kids, for the role these creatures serve in our ecosystems.

"Kids are our future decision makers, so once they understand the value of these animals, the more they're going to appreciate and respect them," said Matt Heeter, animal care specialist at the Myrick Park Nature Center.

Another goal is to help clear up any misunderstandings about reptiles, so children can one day help with the preservation of them. Kids, like Grace Mills, often walk away with at least one favorite animal.

"Mine was the bearded dragon," said Mills. "I held the bearded dragon. It felt.... It had a lot of spikes, but they didn't really feel like spikes."

For over five years, WisCorps has offered their Reptile Roundup program at Myrick Park. The program is free and open to the public.

To learn more, visit Nature Education | WisCorps

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Mike Beiermeister

WXOW Weekend Anchor and Reporter

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