Kids get 'sneak peek' at wildlife studio coming to Imagine Nation in September

Published on Tuesday, 22 August 2017 22:12
Written by Lorenzo Burgio


BRISTOL -- Wildlife took over Imagine Nation A Museum Early Learning Center Tuesday afternoon in anticipation of its re-imagined wildlife studio opening next month.

The Connecticut Parrot Society and Dr. Bugman were invited for a “soft opening” and “sneak peak” of the renovated wildlife studio, explained marketing specialist at Imagine Nation, Heather Grance.

The renovations are still in the process of being completed, Grance noted, and are being made possible by the Maximilian E. & Marion O. Hoffman Foundation. She added that the event and soon-to-be studio provide a way for kids to interact and learn about different wildlife.

“It’s a new experience for the kids. It can spur an interest or curiosity in wildlife that could inspire them to protect the environment where the wildlife lives,” she added.

The founders of the Connecticut Parrot Society Barbara and Bob Cosgrove, who are from Southington, explained they commonly work with schools and organizations to educate the public on caring for parrots.

To pass on that education, the nonprofit society brought a few of its colorful winged friends that caught the attention of the kids walking by.

While a big, red parrot named Emily stood on Barbara’s arm waiting for a high five, she said “the society is in its 11th year and has found homes for about 300 birds.”

Even though Martin DeSomma goes by Dr. Bugman, he has many more creatures than just insects that he brings for kids around the state to interact with and learn about.

He brought many of those animals and insects to Imagine, including Madagascar hissing cockroaches, walking stick bugs, a Chilean rose haired tarantula, a ball python and many more.

DeSomma was originally a pre-veterinarian and developed a love for animals and insects, which led him to adopt and foster many of these species from different parts of the state.

As an almost four-foot ball python name Margaret was wrapped around DeSomma’s arm, he explained he is from Waterbury and being Dr. Bugman is a part-time job, which he has been doing for about 20 years.

“All the insects and animals are my own and they are all kept at my house,” DeSomma said. “It’s amazing how kids are so interested in all the animals and insects. A lot of them aren’t even scared.”

Imagine Nation will be closed from Aug. 27, to Sept. 12, which is why it has been holding events everyday this week and “going out with a bang,” Grance added, and the grand opening and ribbon cutting of the re-imagined wildlife studio is set for Sept. 30, at 11 a.m.

Lorenzo Burgio can be reached at or at 860-584-0501 x5088.

Posted in The Bristol Press, Arts, Bristol, Forestville, General News on Tuesday, 22 August 2017 22:12. Updated: Tuesday, 22 August 2017 22:15.