Skip to comments.Gulfarium gator eats boy's turtle: 'Oh no alligator, let it go'
Posted on 10/15/2010 6:04:50 PM PDT by Daffynition
OKALOOSA ISLAND A local family remains upset four days after giving their pet turtle to the Gulfarium and watching it get eaten by an alligator.
Brenda Guthrie and her 8-year-old son Colton witnessed Tomalinas death as the red-eared slider disappeared into the alligators jaws. When the two looked away from the sight, she said they could hear the crunching of the turtles shell.
He was jumping up and down screaming, Guthrie said of her sons reaction. He was shouting, Oh no alligator, let it go.
Guthrie said that they decided to donate Tomalina after the turtle outgrew its aquarium. They chose the Gulfarium so that Colton could come back and visit the turtle.
They brought it there Thursday afternoon and watched as workers put the slider into the alligator exhibit, where two other red-eared sliders already live.
Gulfarium officials said that the alligator, Gracie, had just been hand-fed and that the gators normally dont express interest in the turtles.
Its horrible for a little kid to have to see that, said General Manager Don Abrams. Thats not unusual to put sliders in the same exhibit. (The alligators) have never eaten a turtle in the exhibit before.
Its just Murphys law that nature would take over right then, he added.
Abrams said the Gulfarium apologized to the Guthries numerous times and was surprised they had called the Northwest Florida Daily News.
Guthrie said the staff gave Colton a meet-and-greet with the dolphins, but she feels he deserves more compensation for what he saw.
LOL ...nature is a b!tch.
The kid learned about nature.
Isn’t that was a zoo is for?
Compensation.... for what??
Welcome to the Wild Kingdom!
Money grubbing cow. He saw nature in action. Its a damn turtle, anyway. Not like its a dog or something.
Like the aquarium *owed* them some responsibility for *their* pet and *their* choice. Had to have been ‘Bama voters.
Well to him, the turtle was like a dog! For heaven’s sake, did the kid have to watch that? Maybe the place could have put the kid’s turtle in another tank or something. Why the alligator pen? Good grief people, you could have a little bit more sympathy than that!
Compensation? He got a cool science workshop on how nature really works. Might become a conservative right then and there. And you could also do a Hypothesis Work Sheet: “What do you THINK might happen if you put a small, tasty pet in an alligator tank?”
Nom nom nom.
Comments at the link are great.
There are other turtles in the gator enclosure. Sounds like everybody felt that one more would be fine.
Welcome to the jungle, we got what you need.....
God help me, but that’s FUNNY!
I wonder that it never occurred to the zookeepers that to an alligator raised or kept in captivity and fed by handlers every day or whenever, seeing flesh being put into the water by handlers signalled "dinner" to the reptilian brain.
Stupid move. I don't "normally" have any interest in turtles either but if someone at a restaurant served one up to me on a platter I would assume it was meant to be eaten.
They need to have the kid watch when they feed the live rodents to the snakes.
If only this had been a Disney production, the turtle would have escaped in a whimisical manner after a suspenseful interlude. Unfortunately for the turtle, reality is not a Disney production.
Still, it’s not exactly easy for a kid to see a beloved pet consumed. Many FReeper pet owners would have themselves a pair of gator skin boots.
That gator has the same eyes as my cat, Ms. Gina.
The comments here are incredibly stupid. Common sense dictates you don’t put the turtle with the alligators. Regardless of what type of animal the child felt a bond with it and to see it go like that is terrible. Obviously they aren’t entitled to compensation since they donated it but have a freaking heart.
“Good grief people, you could have a little bit more sympathy than that!”
What? Instead the zoo should have made it into a feel good situation? That’s not real. Do you have a problem with reality?
Are you the same group that said we couldn’t dissect a frog in junior high? And the trauma, oh my goodness the TRAUMA of the snake eating the mouse in 3rd grade must have scarred your inner brain forever.
Wild Kingdom must be banned from TV I say!!!!!
That’s a snapper. Good riddance.
Yeh its called the food chain.
Red Slider....The other white meat.......
No I don’t! I just know that it’s just sad that this place couldn’t have saved some stinkin’ little tank somewhere else to put this little kid’s turtle in so he could visit it. But no, the first thing they did was put it in with the alligator so that the little kid had to see his turtle die like that! I think you’re being just a little insensitive!
No I wasn’t. I just didn’t want to have to do it because I was afraid I’d get sick to my stomach! It’s not like I could’ve stopped it even if I wanted to! I was a little kid once, who wouldn’t have wanted to watch my little pet get eaten by a much larger animal.
Then, I was a mom and now a grandma who didn’t/wouldn’t want to see a little kid freak out when a pet got eaten by a larger animal right in front of him/her! Would you? I hope not! I realize it’s nature, but it’s still traumatizing to a little kid! Would you have wanted to see that as a child? What would you have wanted to hear from the adults around you? Then as an adult w/a child in the situation. Would you know what to say? Tell me, I’d like to know!
Really! Some people on here need a lesson in sensitivity and manners. They just assume everybody should think like they do. If they don’t, they jump all over them, and make assumptions about them!
No, but I do have a problem w/people with bad manners who mock others who don’t think like they do, or feel the same way they do, thank you!
Feel free to bring your pets! They will be gratefully accepted, and well taken care of, as food donations.
Dunno. I do know he won’t be hungry for a few days.