School of Croc, once a 2-week project, rolls to its 50th show
When Gatorland introduced its School of Croc programming, the idea was for it to last two weeks or so while the south Orlando attraction was closed for the coronavirus pandemic.
But now, the 50th episode of the livestream will be produced and presented on Facebook Live at 10 a.m. on Wednesday. Along the way, viewers have seen all manner of reptiles — including the park’s rare pale white leucistic alligators, crocodiles and snakes — plus birds great and small, goats and members of the big-cat family. Assorted Gatorland employees, on hand for the care and feeding of its animals, have appeared on camera, most notably Savannah Boan.
Boan, a longtime Orlando radio personality, has worked at Gatorland for almost four years. For the School of Croc shows she talks the online audience through facts about the spotlighted animals, wades in with the gators and once had plans to just move into the attraction for a while. (There’s also an afternoon vlog on YouTube that’s a little more raucous than the morning show.)
Boan chatted this week about the 50 days of School of Croc.
way they don’t bleed out.
Birds have never been my favorite animal in the world, but I have learned a lot about birds through this. So every time we do a bird episode usually going into it I’m like — uggggh — nobody cares about birds. They only care about alligators or crocodiles. It kind of fell all together because with the alligator holes some of the birds we have here at Gatorland wouldn’t be able to thrive, like the wading birds and things like that. It all worked out, big circle, and I’ve learned a new appreciation for birds. keep the animals excited and keep them busy. … Alligators don’t do much anyway, but our alligators do a lot of stuff, you know, they do a lot of things. So we just have been trying to keep them mentally stimulated, and we’ve done a lot of crazy things through this whole School of Croc.
I spent the night here a couple of times. It was when I thought we were all going to be locked down and I wasn’t going to be able to come in. So I was going stay here until we found out the good word from the governor. If we did get locked down, I wanted to be here, so, you know, that I could make sure that everything was taken care of. … But it would have been fun if I got to because I like doing stuff like that.
I mean, everybody always wants us to swim with the alligators or everybody always wants us to, you know, kind of take a bite and let people know what it feels like. But we’re really not going to do anything like that. It’s a very kid-friendly, educational sort of program that we’re trying to put out there. Short-term goal was to get us through this time; long-term goal is to get an alligator and crocodile-based television show for kids from Gatorland. That’s my personal goal in all of this. … I didn’t know how the show was going to work until we were thrust into a situation where we just had to do the show. So now we have lots of great ideas for how we’re going to do a real TV show too.
I promised that we would do this until we opened back up. But that promise was based on my knowledge at the time, which was going to be, like, a couple of weeks. And it has been great. We’ve met so many new people from all around the world that are coming here. So many great kids, and we can’t wait to open it up so they can all come here. But we will be doing a School of Croc probably weekly that will upload on Saturday mornings, like a Saturday morning kids show. School of Croc never stops now. Once it started, it never stops.