College students stand up shut and private at reptile present


The College students Occasions Staff organized for an worker of the Owatonna  Reptile Amphibian Discovery (RAD) Zoo to go to Minnesota State College, Mankato, on Sept. 14 to indicate college students the fascinating reptiles they’ve. The occasion came about of the Dunung Middle garden on campus from 12-3 p.m. Reptiles they displayed included snakes, turtles, and extra. Jamie Pastika, the Zoo Director at Owatonna RAD Zoo, did three totally different reveals, every an hour lengthy.

College students watched Pastika give a 50-minute spiel on every of the reptiles he introduced, in addition to stroll the reptiles across the crowd for college students to see them up shut. After the present, college students received to work together with the reptiles for ten minutes and ask him questions concerning the totally different reptiles he introduced.

These occasions assist educate college students on reptiles and present that they don’t seem to be as scary as one might imagine.

“I believe it’s nice only for folks to study that these animals aren’t scary, and to achieve an appreciation for our wildlife,” stated Pastika. “We even have a present on Saturdays on the zoo. We strive to ensure everybody will get up shut and will get an opportunity to expertise interacting with an animal.”

Atlas James, the Instructional Leisure Board Member for The Scholar Occasions workforce, helped arrange this occasion. One of many issues he does in his function is to herald audio system that may assist educate college students and have enjoyable with it.

“We held this type of occasion final spring, and we liked the gang, so we determined to carry it again once more for this fall,” stated James. “We had been in a position to carry it exterior this time like we initially deliberate final spring.”

One of many reptiles was an alligator, Squirt, who’s roughly six years outdated. She had tape wrapped round her mouth as a result of her chunk was as exhausting as a dog’s. Pastika didn’t need her to unintentionally chunk anybody who got here to the present. It doesn’t harm the alligator, and he stated it’s like people carrying a seatbelt. She solely wears it throughout reveals, taken off as quickly as they return to the zoo.

Second-year pupil Valarie Weber stated they’d by no means pet an alligator earlier than the present. Nonetheless, after the expertise, Weber stated it was their favourite reptile from the present.

“I like snakes quite a bit, however I can’t say I’ve ever pet an alligator earlier than at this time. In order that one can be my favourite,” stated Weber.

One other one of many reptiles introduced out was Spike, a bearded dragon. The reptile is frequent in Australia and might make glorious pets, as they’re low-maintenance. They may lay on folks’s chests, chill, and soak up their physique warmth. Bearded dragons pet house owners usually buy heating lamps for the reptiles, however their love of heat makes them glorious cuddle buddies. 

First-year grad-student, Liz Jacobson, stated that she would need to get a bearded dragon sooner or later, together with some snakes.

“I used to have a bearded dragon. I do know sooner or later I need to have a few snakes and bearded dragons once more,” stated Jacobson. “I believe they’re superior. They appear chill.”

Jacobson continued, “They appear good with interactions, and it’s thrilling to work together with the animals we don’t see in nature all that a lot.”

There are various alternatives for college students to study extra about reptiles and different animals on the Owatonna RAD Zoo. 

“We do have internships. We’ve had fairly just a few college students come right here to intern at our zoo. And later, a lot of them have labored at our zoo after internships,” stated Pastika. “We even have some volunteer alternatives for these college students which might be actually thinking about working with reptiles however possibly not a full-on internship.”

The occasion was an effective way for college students to work together with one thing exterior their consolation zones and study alternatives exterior of campus.

Header photograph: Squirt the alligator absorbing all of the solar on the Eating Middle garden. (Lilly Anderson/The Reporter)

Write to Lauren Viska at

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