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Odell: State High’s Favorite Alligator

Odell+the+alligator+posed+on+a+computer+on+October+31st+when+he+was+brought+to+Journalism+class+during+last+block.+
Odell the alligator posed on a computer on October 31st when he was brought to Journalism class during last block.

Odell the alligator posed on a computer on October 31st when he was brought to Journalism class during last block.

Auden Yurman

Auden Yurman

Odell the alligator posed on a computer on October 31st when he was brought to Journalism class during last block.

Anjelica Rubin, Staff Writer

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Bringing an alligator to school may seem like a foreign idea, but for Jayland Smith, this dream has turned into a reality.

Though the thought of an alligator as a pet may spur some controversial opinions, it’s legal in Pennsylvania, and Smith, a senior took advantage of the opportunity. Via an alligator farm in Tampa, Florida, Smith received the alligator through mail just last week.

The alligator named Odell, is three months old and only a few inches wide, but should grow to be between 7-10 feet.

Smith knows Odell won’t stay this small for long, on the plans for the future, Smith said “I’m having fun with him now, but once I move out and go my own way, I hope to train him, and perform shows, to make people more aware of reptiles, and give them a better sense on just how cool they really are.”

Smith brought Odell to school in his backpack on October 31st. As one would guess, this surprise visitor caused a lot of attention as people swarmed the Journalism room to take a look.

“I love that State High is embracing Odell [the alligator],” Smith said. “It makes me feel good about my decision to buy one, and hope that with this great responsibility, I’ll be able to bring him in more. It would also help if I didn’t get caught by my parents.”

Odell is Smith’s second alligator. The first time around, Smith’s parents had not been aware of the changes in the household, and the alligator was found in Smith’s closest when they found it, and returned to a wild rescue shelter.

“Though I will always be disappointed that my first alligator was taken away from me, I’ve always been into reptiles, since I was about 2, and knew I would get another opportunity to care for one” said Smith. “This is just another way for me to get closer with them, and to be able to teach others about alligators and what taking care of them entails.”

Smith spent quality time researching alligators before he bought another, finding out all he needed to know about the American alligator, and their daily diets (fish, chicken, and insects), before feeling ready to take on that responsibility again.

Smith will be attending Kent State University next year, and will be studying to become a herpetologist (one studying amphibians and reptiles), but will always remember this experience today, and the impact Odell had on the State High community, even if it was for only an hour.

“My favorite thing about being an alligator owner [so far] is everyone’s interaction with Odell, knowing I am around something that’s been around for millions of years. The shock value of it is kind of amazing, and to bring that to State High makes it even better.”

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2 Comments

2 Responses to “Odell: State High’s Favorite Alligator”

  1. Grace R on November 9th, 2017 2:58 pm

    Great article!

    [Reply]

  2. Sierra on November 9th, 2017 3:01 pm

    Oh my god this is such a pretty picture! Who took it because this is amazing? Also, editing on point.

    [Reply]

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




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Odell: State High’s Favorite Alligator