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Critters at the Calgary Zoo

Kelsey McEwen, reporter
March 26, 2013 — It sounds like every 8 year-old boy's dream job, working alongside nature’s creepiest and crawliest creatures at the Calgary Zoo.

Bellatrix will be about 10 feet long when she's fully grown
Bellatrix will be about 10 feet long when she's fully grown

Calgary public schools are on March Break, and the Calgary Zoo has been packed to the brim all week. 

We caught up with zookeeper Patrick Thompson and his friend Bellatrix, a Malagasy Tree Boa.

She’s only 7 months old and doesn't weigh much now, but when she's fully grown she will measure about 10 feet and be as thick as as a grown man's forearm.

Bellatrix plays a key role in the zoo’s school program for kids by teaching them about the importance of different animals.

Surprisingly, Bellatrix isn’t just a favourite among the boys.

"A lot of the time girls are really into [snakes]," Thompson says.

"If somebody’s going to be really into a snake, it’s usually going to be a girl, but I find more often ... most of the boys will pet the snake, and there’s usually one or two girls who won't." 

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