Well, hibernation is over and its officially mating season so Florida alligators are on the move and one decided to move into our pond!
Thankfully this one is quite small at around 3 feet but its still makes me nervous! We've instructed the boys that they are not allowed near the pond. I got the impression they weren't taking our warning seriously when Evan informed me that it wasn't even big enough to eat a kid his size and Kane told us that he wanted to name it and keep it as a pet so he could give it snuggles.
I am a big fan of being honest with my children even on controversial subjects like death, sex, and you know being eaten by large reptiles, although I try not to over share/over react on things either. However this time I let them have it.
I explained that the gator probably couldn't swallow them hole like other prey, it could bite them, drag them in the water, hold them under until they drown/died and then it would snack on their bodies for a few days.
Evan and Kane stared at me in horror and amazement during my little speech, following up with a thousand questions, while Seth just smirked and rolled his eyes. Seth was born a skeptic so I'll be pulling out the big guns, showing him Youtube videos of gators hunting and feeding, hopefully driving my point home.
Always trying to walk that fine line of over reacting and teaching them respect for the world around them. :)
And we're still working/budgeting for a fence (the ones our HOA allows can cost upwards of $4,000!!!!) as its one of our top priorities.