Thursday, April 16, 2009

Chomp-Chomp goes to School

I've been away from the classroom for too long and when I was invited to talk about Alligators for kids from Cafferata and Diplomat Elementary Schools in Cape Coral I was more than happy to do so. The gifted students were a great audience with excellent questions including a few favorites:
  • How can you tell a male from a female alligator? (if there are babies and the adult is not eating them - female - otherwise it gets complicated)
  • How fast can an alligator run? (up to 10 mph for a very short distance)
  • Where did you get that awesome hat? (it was handmade in Cape Coral)
  • How can you tell if an alligator has been fed? (illegally fed, wild alligators lose their fear of humans and will not flee in their presence)
  • What are the beads of your bracelet from? (I don't know but it was a gift from a Buddhist monk)
  • What eats alligators? (Everything eats baby alligators from Large-mouth Bass, Raccoons, Wood Stork and even other Alligators)
Here I'm pointing out the northern extent of the Alligator's historic range in Virginia. 
It looks like the magic trick has gone terribly wrong! Actually I was asked by a student to reveal what was in the aquarium slowly to "build the suspense". 
Of course it was a baby American Alligator and everyone was wildly excited. Chomp-Chomp was spending his/her first day at school showing off with a ferocious bark - ok not so ferocious but if you heard that noise in the wild - look out for mama. 
Chomp-Chomp is not a pet but works for the Everglades Day Safari like me. We enjoyed getting away from the swamp for a day. Thanks to Mrs. Taylor (for the invitation and photos) and the kids from Cafferata and Diplomat Elementary. I hope they had as much fun as I did. 


  1. That is so awesome that you get to do things like this.

  2. It was fun - I wish I had thought the Nest Predator game through a little better but I think the kids enjoyed being eggs and rooting for mama alligator to protect them from the raccoon and snake.

  3. loved to see the surprised faces on the kids when they saw chomp chomp, not the same face I made when I saw it in our livingroom without previous notice.

  4. I'll warn you when I bring the Burmese Python home for a few days.

  5. I was one of the kids there. It rocked!

  6. I used to love when they brought animals into the school when I was little. Hope Chomp Chomp got a nice treat when he/she got home for being stared at and riding in your truck!

  7. It was awesome :D

    I was the dude in the back wearing the green shirt XD.

    That alligator was tiny, yet scary.