LACOMBE, La. (AP) — The federal government shutdown has forced the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to cancel the Wild Things event scheduled Saturday in St. Tammany Parish.
About 50 exhibitors, three bands, a food vendor, 100 volunteers and 17 sponsors had planned to put on the free event, which drew 5,300 visitors last year, project leader Ken Litzenberger said Monday.
“We had all kinds of things — pontoon boat rides, canoe rides, pellet gun shooting, archery, live wildlife, all kinds of great kids events,“ he said. A local herpetological society was to bring snakes, frogs and turtles; the Audubon Zoo was planning a wetlands exhibit; wildlife rehabilitators were bringing birds and some mammals; the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries planned to set up “a huge freshwater fish tank,“ he said.
It would have been the 16th Wild Things. The Fish and Wildlife Service says it's is designed to let people of all ages connect with the area's wild resources of our area, learn new skills and perhaps maybe get involved in preserving our natural heritage.
The nonprofit The Friends of Louisiana Wildlife Refuges was calling donors, he said. “They're contacting all of the sponsors, letting them know they can get their money back or leave it in the pot for next year's event.“