La Grange children meet 'Julius Squeeze' and other reptiles, amphibians

It's not every day that a 10-year-old boy is wrapped in a 16-foot-long albino python.

But that's exactly what happened at the La Grange Public Library Saturday when Dave DiNaso coiled the yellow and white snake around Andre Dalalientses' torso and up his chin.

.And what's more, the boy had volunteered for the experience.

"It was really heavy," said Andre afterward. "It was really cold. It kind of felt like the lizard. But it was really smooth."

Andre and other children and their parents gathered in the library's basement to see Dave DiNaso's Traveling World of Reptiles.

As the kids giggled and screamed, DiNaso urged them to call for him to open each of five boxes that carried the creature he brought to the show.

"Come out Julius Squeeze," shouted the kids as DiNaso unraveled the python from one of the boxes.

"Come out Sumo," they yelled as he pulled out a humongous frog from another box.

They learned that Julius Squeeze — as the snake is called — is an albino. His white and yellow skin makes him look like a banana and appealing to predators, said DiNaso.

"Albinos don't survive in the wild. They get eaten," DiNaso explained.

DiNaso shared his admiration for snakes with the audience. He told them that they have no ears, poor eyesight, have not feet or legs, but still manage to thrive in the wild.

"It's every bit as efficient at taking down its prey as any bear or shark," said DiNaso about pythons.

DiNaso also brought a lizard, a tortoise and an African Pixie Frog to the show.

"Why is that frog as big as a hamburger?" asked one little boy.

"Because he has a tank of water inside him," explained Di Naso.

The pixie frog is the second largest frog in the world, outsized only by the African Goliath Frog, DiNaso noted.

The children laughed hard as DiNaso plopped the frog on seven-year-old Ellie Baldwin's head.

"Whatever you do, don't kiss it," he warned the girl from La Grange. "It may turn into a handsome prince and what I am going to do with a handsome prince?"

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