When it comes to animals that are furry, I love them all. However, today, I met one that did not meet the usual criteria. Yes, she had furry legs, cute little eyes and liked to be petted, but you definitely could not put her on a leash or let her run around the house, not if you wanted to have company at least.
I am talking about my new found friend the tarantula, one of the many new friends we got to meet at Gatorland when we were invited out for Trainer for the Day last week.
When you think of Gatorland, of course the first thing that comes to mind is gators, and they have hundreds, if not thousands of them. They range from teeny tiny to over 400 pounds. First thing this morning, we got to go join some for breakfast, their breakfast. Getting up close to these massive creatures is not only intimidating but almost terrifying. They may look like they don’t care, but when it comes to zoning in on food, they are very alert. Using the proven horseshoe toss, we got to serve up some chicken to these hungry guys and after a while, they put up with us as long as we kept the goodies coming.
Once we slowly made our way out of that breakfast hall, we got to visit some of the exotic animals that they have as “ambassadors”, those that are perfect for educating people on why it is important to take care of all animals, no matter what they look like and the purpose that they serve in our environment. It was here that I got the privilege of being introduced to our friend, a very large and furry spider, uh…tarantula. Funny how a grown man can be so terrified by something so small but I can tell you, even though she was “cute” for a spider, I would not want one crawling around my house. Alessa got to hold a very curious and somewhat dragon looking type of monster as well as some cute and very vocal baby gators. We also got to see and interact with some animals seen often in Florida like a tortoise, Florida panther and all sorts of birds.
As if that was not enough, we got to see how the trainers here at Gatorland work with the gators and crocodiles and are great educators on how important these animals are to our environment. Talk about a job that you could give an arm and a leg for, this would be it if you are not too careful!
We then headed over to the very large lagoon where many of the alligators get to hang out every day. Sunning themselves, swimming around, doing the typical gator things, we got to watch how they feed them, part of this making sure that they don’t get to used to the “lazy” good life and remember how to catch and track their food. Don’t let them fool you, they move fast and can come out of the water about 6 feet to grab their meal.
After we were through with our trainer duties, we got to check out more of the fun and festivities for their Holiday Ho Ho Ho-Down activities they have going on now select days in December. From interactive characters and holiday displays to festive food items (no we did not have gator). Florida residents also receive 50% off of admission through December 31st!
There is plenty to do and see at Gatorland Orlando. We have been here quite a few times on stream and experienced the Screamin’ Gator Zip Line, Meet A Gator and the Stompin’ Gator Off Road Adventure, all being a great time and we cannot wait to come back again. This was Alessa’s first time at Gatorland Orlando and she absolutely loved it too! If you would like to see our experience, please go to my Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/spokesmayne to see all of the fun we had that day!
If you would like to experience all things Florida and more, go to: https://www.gatorland.com/specials/coupon/ and get a special discount on your next visit. Again, thank you to Gatorland for always making it a special time and to Michael and Savannah for being the best hosts ever!