It all started when I took Gordon Lee to Petsmart to see some reptiles. I figured that would be a nice way for him to see in person what these reptiles he's been reading about are like. Then he asked me.
"Mommy, do they have alligators or crocodiles here?"
"No, Gordon Lee, Petsmart does not sell crocodiles and alligators."
Then I thought, hmmm I wonder if there is some place around here to see alligators. Alligators do live in Georgia.
So, I googled, alligators in our own town. It directed me to the website of a place called Oxbow Meadows whose main claim was their alligators. Perfect! I didn't see any prices on the website. I called the next day. The nice lady told me that their large alligators were not there right now as their habitat was being cleaned. However, they did have baby alligators that we could see if we would like to. She also told me that everything was free.
So we went!
While they have many reptiles, they also have numerous other educationally-rich things. They have insect exhibits, amphibian exhibits, they have a whole section for honey bees. They have a rain garden and information about being resourceful with water. They have a bird sanctuary. All viewable for free!
First, they brought us to the back to see their baby alligators. They were adorable! They were hungry and snapping, though, so they stayed in their "pool" as Gordon Lee called it.
This rat snake came right up to the glass to say "hello" to Gordon Lee. He was excited to see the snake using its tongue to smell. But he didn't trust the glass, and he didn't want to get too close.
We learned about the anatomy of turtles/tortoises
We saw quite a few turtles and tortoises.
This is an adorable little tortoise called a "gopher tortoise" because it likes to go under the ground. I almost wanted one for myself...until we saw a larger one in a bigger habitat.
Outdoor turtle pond.
We saw some large tortoises outside. I didn't see the sign that told us what kind they were. However, upon researching it, I believe this is called the African spurred tortoise.
We truly had an excellent time. Gordon Lee learned a ton about the animals in his books. It was definitely a very kid friendly place. They had these great viewing step stools for children to get a better view at the habitats. Pictured below is Gordon Lee using one to see down into the Burmese Python's water hole.
You never know what fun things you can find until you go looking for them! We will certainly return for more learning experiences (and to see the full-sized alligators when they return)!