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Posted by Rob Carmichael on January 25, 1999 at 14:18:33:
In Reply to: Suggestion for animals in classroom posted by MHill on January 22, 1999 at 17:13:07:
I was in your same shoes when I had the opportunity to convert an old fitness room at a recreation center into a mini nature center with live reptiles and amphibians. After experimenting with a wide variety of herps (both common and exotic) I feel that I am somewhat knowledgeable as to what types of herps kids like and what types tend to do hold up well. Corn snakes! They are probably the hardiest of the bunch, tolerate a lot of handling and they come in many beautiful varieties. Kingsnakes (easterns are the friendliest but they all tend to do well) are a close second. Automatic feeders, very gentle, and good size are always a big hit with the kids (we have a 6 1/2 ' Chain King that the kids adore). Your bullsnake is a good choice as are other members of the Pituophis clan). Ball Pythons work well if you have one that feeds well. Boa constrictors (start off with a c.b. baby) are generally very docile (our's gets held every day by kids) and would do nicely in your 75 gallon tank (I suggest getting a male as they won't get as large). Box turtles are loved by everyone. They are hardy and have great personalities. Blue tongued skinks are also great for the classroom. They are large, impressive, and very docile and actually like to be around people if hand raised (and hand fed!). We have an eastern blue tongue that will follow you all over the place. Leopard geckos are extremely hardy and easy to care for. I wouldn't suggest an iguana due to their specialized needs and difficulty in housing properly. If you can withstand the permit process you can't beat an eastern indigo snake. We have two and they are fabulous animals and trustworthy. The only drawback is their high cost and their high metabolism (read that...they defecate frequently...like rabbits!). Aquatic turtles are fun to watch but a little high on the maintenance side (but worth it). Well, there are many more species to choose from (and we have quite a few more in our collection) but the ones listed here are those that I have worked with (in addition with many, many more) in an educational setting that I know are tried and proven. Good luck.
: I teach JH/HS sciences at a small school (read no budget). I currently have several aquariums that are not in use. 2-30gal, 1-20gal, 1-75gal long. I have all but one of the 30 gal prepped for reptiles or amphibs. I need to get opinions on what animals to get. I already have a bullsnake that has been a hit. I am looking for low-cost (both to buy and maintain, my money, low salary), hardy, kid friendly animals. I've considered iguanas (but they seem to smell too much, correct me if I'm wrong), cameleons (pricey here), anoles (had before, marginal success), turtles (kinda like this idea), more snakes (breeding mice, got food supply), geckos (?), salamanders (not one of my favorites but....), treefrogs (?). Anyone have any other ideas or suggestions? I'm not looking for any thing exotic just good animals. My kids are loving the snake (well, most of them) and keep asking if and what I'm getting next. Any help would be great.