Blue Springs kids got an up-close introduction to Missouri mammals at the Blue Springs North branch of the Mid-Continent Public Library, learning about the state’s native bears, deer and other creatures through their pelts and remains brought by Andrea McCoy, manager of the Remington Nature Center.

McCoy came all the way from St. Joseph with her collection of pelts and bones to give the kids a chance to learn about animals while giving them general safety tips on interacting with wildlife. The presentation was part of the “Animals and You” program put on by the library.

McCoy said she wanted the kids to learn to appreciate the animals in nature while also knowing to “leave nature in nature,” by playing it safe when meeting a wild animal. When asked what to do when coming across a wild animal, McCoy told the kids to keep a safe distance and not to interact with it, admiring it from a distance.

McCoy explained processes such hibernation and antler shedding as well as natural defenses that many local wildlife creatures employ, holding up a pelt of the animal in question, or sometimes a pair of antlers.

After her presentation, kids were able to touch the pelts before spending time at the tables making wildlife-related art projects, creating their own animal tracks to take home.

Mid-Continent is currently in the middle of its “A Universe of Stories” Summer Learning Program, where kids and adults can earn points for prizes by attending events such as Animals and You. Future events at the Blue Springs North branch include rocket-building and lessons about gravity at 4:30 p.m. on July 16, and a celebration of the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 at 2 p.m. the next day.

The Blue Springs South branch will teach kids about live horse care at 11 a.m. Saturday. Registration is required for the events and can be done on at