Little Creatures Bring Big Smiles to Orion Township Library
(Crystal A. Proxmire, Aug 8, 2022)
Orion Township, MI – When Dan Briere, aka “Dan the Creature Man,” visits schools and libraries, he make sure that the parents and children present know that wild animals do not make good pets.
The alligator in his care, for example, came from a home in Birmingham where a mother at her wits end just could not understand why the creature was getting so big and starting to bite people.
At just over 4 feet long, the alligator is an interesting addition to Briere’s collection. But it won’t be long before he passes it along to a zoo where can grow in the safety of their expert care. In the meantime, his shows give people an up close look in an environment that is safe for them and for the creatures.
Dan started out working in a pet store in the 1980s, then realized he wanted more of an audience. There were only so many customers with whom he could ramble about rabbits, rave about rattlesnakes, and pontificate about pythons.
So he took his show on the road. And built his Little Creatures Co. business around sharing the joys and curiosities of animals with others. Whether it’s a handful of kids in a birthday party, or an audience of hundreds, Dan the Creature Man’s excitement helps share the love and respect for animals wherever he goes. Even after over 30 years, he puts his all into his shows and loves the work he does.
In spite of a light rain, over 300 people turned out on July 27 for his show at the Orion Township Library. And that fascination with pythons came in very handy as he pulled out a gigantic Albino Burmese Python that wrapped around his arms and shoulders as he displayed it to the crowd.
The “ooohs,” “ahhhs,” and squeals of the children – and the cringes of adults – are as fun as the show itself. For this particular show, it was a series of animals that showed off their fancy feathers, furs and scales.
Among them was a chameleon, a creature that most kids know about because of cartoons. But those cartoons give a false impression of the animals’ capabilities, and Briere is happy to set the record straight. He told the crowd that chameleons don’t change color instantly, and they don’t do it to blend in with their backgrounds. The changes are based on temperature and mood, and the color shifts are not as dramatic as movies would have people think.
Families also learned that Giant African Bullfrogs have teeth, and that Chinchilla fur is thought to be the softest in the world.
The most important lesson though, is reverence and respect. “I get calls from police departments and rescues because people get these animals and they don’t think about how much work they’re going to be. Or they just get sick of them,” he said. “It’s sad when people just don’t want their animals any more.” Unwanted animals can face a variety of fates, but those that he can care for, he does.
“Animals need love and care,” he said. “It’s a lot of work and you shouldn’t just get a pet because you think it’s cute without realizing it’s a long-term commitment. They’re living creatures.”
Though having an alligator, or a Chinchilla, or a giant frog, or a python may not be a great idea, visiting a performance of Dan Briere and Little Creatures Co. is a great way to see them in person. Learn more about Little Creatures Co at https://littlecreaturesco.com.
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