SATIRE- On Tuesday, March 23, the alligators escaped Cypress Lake, proving to many students that alligators should not be kept on campus with people to begin with.
One student, who was chased by one near her dorm, said that she was always worried about their possible escape.
“I always knew that the brick walls were way too short,” Ali Gatarick, a senior zoology major said, “I was just waiting for one of them to come out and steal my toes right out of my flip-flops.”
Gatarick believed that the University of Louisiana at Lafayette should give them to a zoo or wildlife preserve, where they are far away from students.
“I love the atmosphere with the lake and all,” Gatarick said, “But it really is not worth the safety of students, and more importantly, my poor feet.”
Other students disagreed and said that it was obviously the students’ fault. With the constant feeding of the gators, C.D. Isle, a freshman food managing major said.
“There are signs all over the lake that tell people not to feed them,” Isle said. “I was already worried about the health of the animals, and now look at what’s happened.”
Isle thinks that the alligators should be allowed to stay on campus, but they should be contained better.”
“I am not saying that a 50-foot fence is necessary, but maybe something a little higher than we have now,” Isle said. “And maybe, just maybe, have several neon signs about feeding them. Is it really worth going through this again?”
UL Lafayette Professor of Zoology and Head of the Alligator Containment Department, Nile Cayman, Ph.D., said that the gators did minimal harm to students and will be kept on campus.
“After the alligators were returned to their lake on Wednesday,” Cayman said. “And it was found that most of the students were unharmed, we have decided to keep the gators at UL where they have always been.”
In fact, the university is considering letting the alligators roam free every few weeks to give them added enrichment. During this time, students would be asked to purchase and wear steel-toe boots for their safety.
“The students adore the alligators,” Cayman said. “I see nothing wrong with letting them become more personally acquainted.”
Cayman believes that the cost of the boots coming out of the students’ pockets is a non-issue because if they can afford to come to UL Lafayette, they can afford new shoes.
“UL can’t afford to purchase boots for all the students,” Cayman said. “And, if students can pay for tuition, they can pay for a cheap pair of boots.”
Gatarick said that she cannot add steel-toe boots to her budget and released a stream of expletives at the university. She added that it is not her responsibility to protect her toes.
However, other students, such as Sawa Crodall think that allowing the alligators to roam free would be greatly beneficial to both the animals and the people.
“Don’t you just want to be able to pet the alligators like dogs?” Crodall asked. “I’d always seen them from afar and just wanted to boop their scaly snoot. I am so excited about this. I wonder if I can teach them to play fetch.”