Wild World of Animals to add thrill to Pine event

Deborah Deasy
| Wednesday, July 10, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

A big, black African emperor scorpion is among special guests expected to attend the 24th annual Pine Community Day.

Also expect to see a marine toad, the world's largest species of such amphibians.

Both creatures travel with the Wild World of Animals show set to open at 5 p.m. July 20 at Pine Community Center in Pine Township.

A leopard or young black bear also will join the cavalcade.

The animal show will highlight Pine Township's annual community day of rides, refreshments and entertainment, including a 9:30 p.m. fireworks display by Pyrotecnico, producers of the PyroFest show at Hartwood Acres in Hampton.

“There are 13 animals altogether,” said Grant L. Kemmerer III, owner and founder of the Wild World of Animals, based in Somerset Township, Washington County.

“We start off with a representative of the arthropods,” Kemmerer said, citing the emperor scorpion, which can grow to 9 inches.

“Usually, there's a species of turtle, a species of tortoise, a snake — usually a large constrictor,” said Kemmerer, adding an alligator and legless lizard to the likely lineup of reptiles.

Kemmerer said the show also might include a European eagle owl.

“There's always a primate — a monkey,” he said. “There's always a marquee animal — it's going to be a leopard or a young bear.”

Other animals might include a raccoon-like coatimundi.

The Wild World of Animals stages its traveling 45-minute shows with creatures selected from a menagerie of species handled and presented by a handful of trainers, including Kemmerer.

“There are 150 of animals. “A number of us do shows, and we all take the particular animals we work with to the shows,” Kemmerer said, talking by phone from Darien Lake Amusement Park near Buffalo, N.Y., where he has been doing three animal shows per day. “We stay mostly east of the Mississippi (River).

“I started this on my own,” Kemmerer said about the nearly 30-year-old Wild World of Animals.

“I've always had an interest in animals,” he said. “I grew up having dogs and cats but always had a fascination more for things that were a little different.”

During the shows, trainers simply present and talk about the animals.

“It's not a circus-type show. It's more educational,” said Kemmerer, 47. “We're not the same as a petting zoo.”

Pine Community Day also will include performances by the Fairgrieve School of Dance, the band Mercedez and an ice sculptor.

A dunk tank, pony rides, petting zoo, hot-air balloon and trackless train rides will be available, plus, food, beverages, games, craft projects for children, and pie-eating and watermelon-eating contests.

Hours for Pine Community Day are 4 to 9:30 p.m. July 20 at Pine Community Center, 100 Pine Park Drive, Pine. Admission is free. For information, call 724-625-1636, ext. 3.

Deborah Deasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6369 or ddeasy@tribweb.com.

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