CAÑON CITY, Colo. — It was a roaring good time on Saturday at the Royal Gorge Dinosaur Experience in Cañon City where they celebrated not only their 6th anniversary, but they also had their 4th annual Critters and Creatures event.
“Being a highlighter of dinosaurs, we love all kinds of other creatures as well, so we wanted to share that with the public,” said Zach Reynolds, owner of the Royal Gorge Dinosaur Experience.
People were able to have an up-close experience with some animals they might not get to see in the wild.
Not only did they have wild animals, but they also gave guests a chance to interact with them. JZ Proctor, an animal educator, showed off a variety of reptiles from Colorado Gators, allowing people to hold a live caiman.
Organizations who were invited said the event is first and foremost all about education.
“We try to do as much education about local wildlife and also wildlife across the world and how people can help with these different birds,” said Sky Quackenbush, an animal care specialist with Nature’s Educators.
A lot of the education focused on conservation.
“Often times people know not to throw trash or plastic out of the car, but when you throw a food item like an apple core or a banana peel it attracts rodents to the side of the road where our hawks are very frequently struck by vehicles,” Quackenbush said.
Another goal from participants was to shed light on specific animal groups.
“I usually end up doing a little bit of my own soapbox where I say ‘hey, just keep in mind reptiles can make very good pets but let’s talk a little bit not necessarily alligators and caimans,” Proctor said.
Reynolds said the event is also about having pure and simple fun centered around learning.
“We created our wild walk where they can go outside and see dinosaurs that are 3D and skinned and moving and then we have a couple of ropes courses for kids to enjoy,” Reynolds said.