Joe’s Crazzy Critters goes from hands-on to virtual

Reading, writing, and…red-foot tortoises?

Abington’s animal guy, Joe Kenney, owner of Joe’s Crazzy Critters, has launched an online, twice-weekly show to help Abington kids — and adults — learn more about his amazing menagerie of pet friends.

Kenney has been known for years for his hands-on, educational reptile shows. But with social distancing guidelines in effect, and his scheduled shows canceled, Kenney has turned to Facebook continue giving folks of all ages a virtual close-up, educational experience about his animals.

“I love educating people about the animals, and not being able to give a close-up experience, I thought this would be the next best thing,” said Kenney.

His shows can be found on Joe’s Crazzy Critters’ Facebook page on Wednesdays at 3 p.m., and Fridays at 7 p.m.

Knowing kids were out of school, Kenney felt the show would be fun way help keep younger audiences engaged, while at the same time providing them with something different to watch.

Kenney’s first segment featured a 34-year old Moluccan cockatoo named Sampson.  His second introduced a 6-year-old, red-footed tortoise generally found in Central and South America. 

Filming from his home, using a background that was to be used for a parade float, Kenney admits it was a bit of struggle at first to get things started in terms of quality and speaking to a camera, not a live audience. The feedback from viewers, however, has been very positive. 

“So far the videos have done well and I’m really enjoying doing them,” said Kenney.

“I did not expect to have as many people interested in this and I have received pictures of people’s kids watching them.” 

In time, Joe’s Crazzy Critters’ videos will include traveling to other people that have odd pets and giving viewers a chance to see some animals that many may not even know exist.

“We will also be doing videos of some of the local wildlife letting people see what’s in the local world around them,” added Kenney.

When the time comes and COVID-19 and social distancing has ended, Kenney’s main focus will continue giving folks the opportunity to meet live, amazing animals in person. 

“Videos are great to learn from, but in my opinion you cannot beat a live encounter of getting to touch an animal and see them in person, up close,” said Kenney.

“It’s a great experience that many people carry with them for life. The videos, however, are a great tool as well and it’s something that lets me reach a lot of people that otherwise may not be able to get to a show.

“I always encourage kids to get outside and experience what nature has to offer right outside their homes.”

For more information visit: Joe’s Crazzy Critters on Facebook.

Written by Michele Christian