I’m sitting at my desk looking at a four-foot alligator. A real one. Her name is Berkley, and luckily she is being held quite securely by Karen, a woman from Boston’s Museum of Science. Berkley is participating in a program about the life cycles of reptiles which is taking place as I write this. I’m learning a lot about alligators, but what stands out is that it is illegal to have an alligator as a pet. In fact, Berkley was rescued from someone’s home who clearly didn’t read that part of the Massachusetts law. Karen is telling us that Berkley and her fellow gators pretty much eat anything put in front of them, including people. She also has really cool pictures of baby alligators being protected by staying in their mother’s mouth. I’m staying right here at my desk looking at our collection of books about alligators and crocodiles.
If you have a child interested in learning more, I would recommend a trip to the Museum of Science or checking out one of these titles. All of them are terrific introductions to alligators and crocodiles for kids between the ages of 6 and 9.
Crocodiles & Alligators by Seymour Simon
Alligators and Crocodiles by Gail Gibbons
Alligators and Crocodiles! Strange and Wonderful by Laurence Pringle
Who Lives in an Alligator Hole? by Anne Rockwell
By the way, in case you’re wondering what happens when Berkley gets larger and can no longer visit school children…she will be safely returned to a refuge in Florida where she can watch tourists taking pictures of her!