Meet a few of the animals that join Emily's programs below!


Tiger Salamander

Thomas – Tiger Salamander

Tiger salamanders are North America’s largest species of salamander. They spend most of their time underground and have huge appetites. Emily uses this to her advantage during programs and has a volunteer feed the salamander a worm in front of the audience. Kids get the biggest kick out of watching him eat!

Twiggy – Common Garter Snake

Twiggy is probably a snake that you’ve seen in your backyard. Garters are very common in the Midwest, and give birth to live young!


Common garter snake


Boa constrictor

Doug – Boa Constrictor

Doug is over 7 feet long, roughly 25 pounds, and a total sweetheart. He’s the last snake of the program (since you have to end with a bang, right?), and stays out afterwards for audience members to touch and interact with. We suggest keeping him a secret from your students/attendees, as he makes a wonderful surprise for the crowd! Doug attends all full length (45-minute) “Snake, Rattle, & Roll” and “Reptile Around the World” programs.

bacon – Plains hognose snake

Hognose snakes are one of the most unique reptiles in the Midwest. From their shovel-like nose to their defense mechanism (playing dead), and everything in-between, kids love learning about this quirky animal! Emily brings a hognose snake to all programs except “Totally Turtles”.


Plains Hognose snake


spiny softshell turtle

taco – spiny softshell turtle

These goofy-looking turtles are native to Minnesota and Wisconsin, although not many people are aware of their existence. Softshell turtles spend a lot of time hidden under the sand using their long necks and snorkel-like nose to reach to the surface and grab a breath of air when needed. This turtle only comes to the “Totally Turtles” program. I bring a map turtle to the “Snake, Rattle, & Roll” program.