The children of Scoil Bhride had a taste of the jungle last week when Jungle Dave brought a host of exotic creatures to the school for three days.
All 756 children in the school each got to see the animals, as well as hold them, and each child afterwards received a certificate commending them on their “bravery and courage.”
The animals who visited the school included a black throat monitor lizard, a bearded dragon, an iguana, a Burmese python snake, a dwarf caiman crocodile, an alligator snapping turtle, a Mexican tarantula, an Asian forest scorpion, and cockroaches.
Although some of the teachers and staff may have been a bit squeamish about crocs and giant spiders walking the floors, all of the children were very brave and enthusiastic about the creatures.
As well as holding them, the children also learned about how to look after them, what environments they live in, and what they eat.
School principal Muriel Wall-Coughlan said that it was a fantastic experience for all of the pupils.
“The children really loved it. They were able to hold the animals and touch them, and they all completed a project on the animals afterwards which will be on display in the library. They would never otherwise get the opportunity to see such creatures up close, even at the zoo the animals are behind glass.”
Jungle Dave said that bringing exotic animals to the school helps to relieve any fears the children may have.
“Irrational phobias are developed through childhood and come to full fruition in adulthood, by exposing kids before they develop fears they can then appreciate how wonderful the animals really are. It is a common myth that girls are more nervous of these creatures than boys but in fact in most cases they become as involved in the interaction with the creatures.”
The visit was organised by the school’s parents council, some of whom were at the school during the visit to help.