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.
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