Banana Slugs, the Newest Lindsay Wildlife Ambassadors

Spy the colorful gastropods at the Walnut Creek animal center.

SERVING AS A REPRESENTATIVE... for an esteemed institution, one that includes a hospital that is focused on helping injured wildlife recover and thrive, is an august and important calling, for sure. You will want to help the public understand and know the place, and help all who visit grow their love for the natural world. Such is the role of the Animal Ambassador at the Lindsay Wildlife Experience in Walnut Creek, a place that boasts an impressive line up of fur-rocking, claw-tastic, feather-fabulous ambassadors, the beasties who regularly meet with visitors who are truly over the moon, or, something even further, like Mars or Jupiter, by the encounter. But not all ambassadors have feathers or claws or fur. Sometimes, in fact, the impressive position is filled by a tentacle owner. Sometimes the critter has just one lung. And is there some outer mucus involved, to help the whole hydration issue? You bet. If you guessed we're describing...

THE BANANA SLUG, well, you know your gastropods, yes, and you may have seen the headline of this post. And, one more guess? You could have a real affection for the University of California, Santa Cruz, which can proudly claim the banana slug as its awesome mascot. Even if you're lacking in general sluggery-based knowledge, you can burnish your slug 411 by calling upon Lindsay Wildlife Experience when the banana slugs, the center's newest ambassadors, are out and saying hello. We say "newest" because the destination just announced the news on Jan. 2, 2018, setting the positive tone for the year to come. Will 2018 be sunshiny yellow in its general happiness, like a banana slug is sunshiny yellow? Will it be full of determination, like a banana slug is as it moves about the redwood forests and other damp woodsy spots it favors? 1) Yes and 2) definitely. The marvelous mollusks are a great addition to the lauded animal helping-out-place, an addition that will help kids and grown-ups alike know the banana slug, a NorCal forest icon, a whole lot better.

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