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By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
A black, eight-legged critter crawled on Scott Cox's hand and he wasn't at all scared Friday on "First Look with Scott Cox."
"Tarantulas are the most misunderstood creatures," Cox said.
Lana Fain, who brought the creature from the California Living Museum, agreed and said fear of tarantulas usually comes from misinformation in movies and cartoons.
Fain joined the simulcast to show off a few animals as a preview to CALM's Boo-at-the-Zoo, which will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 26 and Oct. 27. There will be food booths as well as wildlife presentations and animal encounters.
But back to tarantulas.
October is mating season for tarantulas so don't be shocked if you see them strolling around town, she said. If you do see one, though, Fain recommends you avoid them.
"Don't try to get its attention nor poke it with a stick. Just let it be," Fain said. "If they feel threatened they do have these little hairs they release as a defense mechanism that could get in your eyes and nose."
The second critter on the show was a glow-in-the-dark scorpion. About the size of a thumb, it was pearly white when it wasn't glowing.
Lights were turned off in the studio and as black light approached, the little scorpion glowed in a green color.
Fain said zoologists have not determined why the scorpion glows and if the glow brings any advantages. They are found around Bakersfield and CALM has two glow-in-the-dark scorpions.
A turkey vulture named Voltaire caused some high wind inside the studio.
Fain held on to Voltaire tightly as he flapped his large wings, and rubbed his bald head to calm him.
For Boo-at-the-Zoo, children up to 12 years old (with an adult entrance fee) and CALM members pay no entrance fee. Adult tickets are $9.
For more information, call 872-2256 or visit calmzoo.org.