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Scott Shupe presents his World of Reptiles at Kentucky State Parks

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Scott Shupe said he was one of those kids who often surprised his mother when she washed his clothes. She would often find a snake or a toad in his pants pocket.

“I never outgrew that fascination with wildlife,” said Shupe, who grew up in Graves County and now lives in Murray. The wildlife author and naturalist has worked in wildlife in Kentucky, Florida, South Dakota and Oregon over the last 40 years.

Shupe has been a frequent presenter at Kentucky State Parks with his World of Rep-tiles show since 1987. He’s scheduled to have nine state park shows in July, starting at Wickliffe Mounds State Historic Site yesterday.

The shows are free to park guests and usually include seven reptiles that travel with Shupe in his pickup truck. They include a corn snake, boa constrictor and a python.

Shupe says he presents a show and tell program that makes the point that reptiles and other wildlife are an important part of our environment and need to be preserved. He gets many questions about snakes.

“I tell people it’s best to stay away from them and don’t kill them. Most are harmless and useful,” Shupe said. “If people can learn to appreciate snakes, they can learn to appreciate a lot of things.”

Shupe is also selling his recent book, the Kentucky Wildlife Encyclopedia, a guide to Kentucky mammals, fish, birds, reptiles, and amphibians.

The following are Shupe’s Kentucky State Park appearances in July (all times are local):

July 6 — Kincaid Lake State Park, 2 p.m.

July 7 — Paintsville Lake State Park, 4 p.m.

July 14 — John James Audubon State Park, 2 p.m.

July 14 — Green River Lake State Park, 8 p.m.

July 20 — Blue Licks Battlefield State Resort Park, 7 p.m.

July 21 — Cumberland Falls State Resort Park, 8 p.m.

For more information about Kentucky State Parks, visit
www.parks.ky.gov. n