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A South American Coatamundi named Trouble hung upside down from his handler “Coyote” Chris Hansen’s forearm, after stealing fruit gummy snacks out of his pocket at the Laurel County Public Library.

The Laurel County Public Library transformed into a jungle when “Coyote” Chris Hansen arrived from Silly Safaris in Indianapolis, Ind., with his wide array of wild animals.  Children swarmed the inside of the library scooting close to cages of unknown creatures and guessing if their favorite animals were inside.

“The animal I’m going to show you today is the scariest animal in the world,” Hansen began with an eerie tone. He continued as he reached into a small cage, “it has large fangs and claws…”

Hansen then abruptly pulled out a rabbit and the audience roared with laughter.  His act was full of humor merged with educational facts about his various creatures and books related to the animals to encourage reading.

“I studied theatre and grew up with animals, so this is a perfect combination,” he said about his career.

Foo Foo, the rabbit, was one of several small animals he brought to display while he had some surprises up his sleeve.  His Eurasian Eagle-owl Hoosier’s wingspan of almost five feet wowed the crowd and his 18 pound South American Coatimundi — a raccoon type mammal — named Trouble hopped around the audience.

Silly Safaris performs summer shows to vacation bible schools, summer camps and library children’s programs.  Next Thursday, the Knoxville Zoomobile will be at the library for two showings, at 11 a.m and 2 p.m., said Leah Rudder, manager of Children’s Services.

mmccrarey@sentinel-echo.com

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