GREAT FALLS - There are plenty of snakes slithering around Montana — bull snakes, rubber boas, and racers, to name a few.
If you want to learn about them, Jeremy Allestad is your guy. He’s been around them since he was six years old and operates Montana Reptile Rescue.
“I caught one when I was six and that’s really what started all this. I love them and teaching kids about them,” he explained.
Allestad hosts educational classes for people to teach them about Montana’s snakes and hosted a forum at the FWP Region 4 headquarters in Great Falls on Thursday.
“We brought in the kids and wanted the kids to learn about the ten native snakes of Montana. To understand the ten native snakes and to learn to respect them rather than fear them. Then it gives them the idea, snakes aren’t all scary,” Allestad said.
The latest class participants were sixth-grade students from Morningside Elementary School. Not only were some students brave enough to hold the snakes, but they also got a field trip for the first time this year, making it even more enjoyable.
Alli Woolley was one of the students and said it was one of her favorite parts of the trip, even though the snakes were kind of creepy.
“I think this part was more fun than the fish part we did. I liked seeing the snakes. I think they’re cool and creepy. This was our first field trip this year and it was fun. I like hiking and the outdoors, I liked today,” Woolley said.
Allestad and Montana Reptile Rescue will also be teaching kids about snakes at this year’s Montana State Fair.
They are also working on getting a building to house all their animals, and hoping for community support; click here if you would like to donate.