This past weekend officially launched Swamp Monster season for Coyote Peterson and The Reptilian Enthusiast Gang. To start things off on the right "clawed" foot, the team installed an educational sign at Gahanna's Big Walnut Creek Bog.
This has been a project 8 months in the making between The City of Gahanna's Parks and Recreations Department, The Reptile Show and Coyote Peterson. Big Walnut Creek Bog is home to a number of very large and healthy Common Snapping Turtles and The Reptile Show team has been researching and filming with this specific bale of Swamp Monsters since last spring.
(Above: Chammp Swaggerty and Lonnie Ross hard at work on the install)
Whenever filming at Walnut Creek Bog the team draws a pretty sizable crowd. Most onlookers have no idea that these monster sized turtles are living right in the heart of their city. These turtles are very near and dear to our hearts and Coyote's goal was to share with the public just a bit of information about the beasts lurking just below the boardwalk.
This fantastic sign was designed and installed by Lonnie Ross of A Sign Above Inc. Lonnie is a close personal friend and colleague of The Reptile Show, and a phenomenal craftsman. The photographs on the sign were taken by Coyote and the artwork done by nature artist Muggsi Hahn.
It was a cold and rainy Saturday morning for the install but as perfect timing would have it, just as we showed up one of our big turtles, Elmer, swam up to see what was happening.
Coyote wasted no time getting muddy and safely nabbed Elmer from the bog, a perfect opportunity to get some publicity photos for the sign.
Elmer is a 35 lb Swamp Monster with a set of claws that is anything but friendly. Coyote has the scars from last summer to prove it!
Elmer, while incredibly aggressive and ill tempered, did finally calm down and allowed Coyote and Lonnie to get some great shots. He even put his scratch of approval on the sign with those monster front claws.
We hope that this sign will help educate the public about the environment and the animals they walk over everyday on the boardwalk. We currently have recorded 11 Common Snapping Turtles living in Big Walnut Creek Bog...and there are many, many more out there!
If you are in the Gahanna area, visit Big Walnut Creek Bog and as the sign suggests...be patient, keep your eyes on the water and you might catch a glimpse of a Swamp Monster!
For more information on The City of Gahanna's Parks and Recreation Department visit:
A Swamp Monster sized THANK YOU goes out to everyone that made this sign possible!