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Kids Face Creepy, Crawly Creatures

In the spirit of Halloween and all things creepy and crawly, Weston children and their parents piled into the library community room to experience animals that might cause your skin to crawl.

More than two-dozen children circled Chris Evers, director of Animal Embassy , at the Anatomy of Fear event hosted by the Friends of the Weston Library. Evers, who founded Animal Embassy in 2002 for exotic animal rescue, adoption and environmental education, showed off his tarantula, leopard gecko, porcupine, snakes, alligator and owl.

Some children left their carpet squares and scooted closer as Evers let some of the animals loose on the floor. Other kids ran to their parents, sitting behind them for comfort.

"You will see some animals that may be scary to some people. It's Halloween coming soon, and Halloween to me is a day where we start to get exposed to things that might be creepy, crawly, slimy, gross or scary," said Evers, trying to persuade the children and their parents to put aside their fears. "When you look at animals, are they gross? It's life and life is beautiful. and there are certain things they have to survive."

Evers, who has traveled across the United States, Africa, India and Central America, has rescued or adopted more than 500 exotic animals and currently cares for more than 100 non-releasable animals in educational exhibits.

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