Yesterday, we celebrated our re-opening at work (eventhough we've technically already been open for a couple months now). One of the commissioners came, our department director and LOTS of kids from neighboring parks. Our naturalist contacted the zoo and this very nice guy brought over an alligator, gopher tortoise, striped skunk and a BIG Eastern Indigo snake (all native to Florida).
The skunk was so cool...very friendly and social, and NO he didn't smell bad at all! His musk gland had been removed. The tort was, well...a tort... and the Indigo was just gorgeous and very well-behaved.
I got to hold the little gator all day. His name was "Tootsie Roll" and he was a sweetie. I even removed the rubber band that was on his mouth. He never snapped (though I know he could've!) and was very patient with all the llittle hands feeling his rough, bony back and long tail.
All the kids loved being able to actually touch a gator, as well as the other critters, though the big snake freaked alot of folks out. One little girl was amazed and told me how cool it was to be so "close to nature", then she whipped out her cell phone and started taking lots of pictures. Touching that one girl in a positive way made the whole thing worthwhile.
It was a good day!
Last weekend, a bunch of us went for a cache called "The Ghost Orchid" in the Fakahatchee Strand. I'll post about that adventure later as I am trying to get things together to go kayaking up at Oleta River State Park. Just a few m,iles north of here and yet I have never been there!
Ya'll have a great weeked!!