LAHORE: 10-year-old Shelby Counterman from Oklahoma has a little different hobby from most girls her age. Caretaker to more than 7,000 pet bugs mainly cockroaches “Shelby the Bug Girl” who dreams of entomology as a career, is hoping to teach people that cockroaches aren’t pests, they can actually be a good thing.
While talking to Pakistan Today she said, “I don’t know exactly how I am in so much love with cockroaches. I feel they are beautiful in their own way, unique and special. They are good for the environment because most are decomposers. Only about 30 of the 3500 species are really pests that carry disease. I don’t keep those at all.
The bug girl told Pakistan Today,” My mom tells me I was obsessed with the cockroaches the first time I saw them while 18 months old in a nature lab”.
Shelby’s mother on being asked what she thought of her daughter’s love of the insects replied,”I view the world of nature so much differently because of what my daughter has taught me. Why not let your child follow their passion if they are doing it in a safe and scientific way? The critters are not loose in my house. They are happily housed and well cared for”.
Shelby’s mother went on to say that even her relatives were okay with her daughter’s strange pets. ” Everyone thinks it is cool. They may be scared at first and then they feel more at ease once they get to know them. Most people change their minds about my insects once they learn about them and understand they aren’t monsters”, she explained at length.
Shelby has high hopes for her future. She says,”I hope to go to college to become an Entomologist. I believe the key to unlocking some diseases may be found in insects”.