Ok, we've already determined that I'll go to some pretty crazy lengths for a story, but this next one? Is taking it to an all new extreme.
And mom? If you're watching, you might want to change the channel.
Reptiland is really a beautiful and fascinating place. You have breathtaking butterflies, critters in cages, and then you have this.
This precious little beast of terror is "Rocky," his girlfriend "Adrian" is over there, and my darling photographer Nate thought it would be a good idea to put me in the same cage.
"Oh, you're ok. Just come wide arc around front. He won't come after you, I assure you," said Clyde Peeling, the Owner of Reptiland.
"Come over here and come get me," said Sarah.
"You're fine. You're fine," said
I'm not really sure "fine" is the word I would use to describe this experience.
"He's trying to scare us away by hissing. He's not going to come after you," said
"Ok. I have you closer, so if he attacks, he'll go for you. You're bigger. You have more meat on you," said Sarah.
"He won't attack," said
But if he did, this 650-pound, 11-foot American Alligator would pack one heckuva punch.
"Certainly I'm not going to say if I put my hand over there he won't bite me. He would. But he's not going to come over here," said
But I wasn't taking any chances, so once I got done mentally plotting out how to escape from an alligator pit in a pair of heels, it was on to the interview.
"Well, my thought is we could stoop down like this, and talk about the animal," said
"Mmhmm," said Sarah.
Turns out, "Rocky" is a 35-year-old gator, who came here from the Jacksonville Zoo and from what I gather, he is not only smaller than his cousin the crocodile, but far less aggressive.
"The big salt water crocodile in
Good news for me is, alligators don't eat from October to April because they're hibernating, which means in principle, I was off of the menu at least for the time being, but there's nothing like tempting fate.
So when my sweet photographer asked Clyde if he could get a shot of the gator hissing, for the sole purpose of better video,
"Oh, we might be able to get him to do that. Let me see. Rocky, open! Open," said
And so did Rocky.
And that's about the time my escape plan went into full effect.
"You are one brave man," said Sarah.
Now believe it or not, the closest living relative to an alligator or a crocodile is a bird, and they actually share a lot of similarities with how they rear their young.
But what kind of show would this be if we featured a bird at Reptiland? Oh no, we have outdone ourselves once again, and got a little hands-on with another one of their animals, a very large snake.
That's coming up this Friday on Central PA Live.