Dave takes individual classes or groups of around 30 students and explains how the animals hunt, how they perceive the world, how they use their senses, what they eat, how they eat and how they catch their prey. The students then have the unique experience of handling and touching crocodile’s tarantulas, scorpion’s, snakes and large lizards.
Is it safe?
Absolutely! Dave has many years of experience with the public handling animals and uses only captive bred animals which further assure their passivity. No risks are taken.
What ages is the show suitable for?
All ages are catered for, from pre schools right through post primary and on. Dave adjusts the show to suit the age groups.
Is the show more suited to boys than girls?
It is a common myth that girls are more nervous of these creatures but in fact in most cases they become as involved in the interaction with the creatures.
Spiders and snakes in my school do I really want that?
Irrational phobias are developed through childhood and come to full fruition in adult hood, by exposing kids before they develop fears they can then appreciate how wonderful the animals really are.
CALMAST’S Science Week slithers to a great success!
‘Dave’s Jungle’ is just one of the events of this year’s Science Week to have been hailed a great success by its organisers, Waterford Institute of Technology’s CALMAST.
Designed for primary school pupils, ‘Dave’s Jungle’ brought their not-so-cuddly charges to Waterford Institute of Technology, so the children could come face to face with snakes, spiders, scorpions, and lizards.
"‘Dave’s Jungle’ has been an incredibly popular programme in this year’s Science Week", says CALMAST’s Dr Sheila Donegan. "This was a chance for the children to meet some very different animals up close, to touch and learn all about them. Even the children who were less keen to be introduced to the animals at first were soon fascinated by the snakes and scorpions."
Science week was not only for school children, though, as Dr Donegan explained: "The idea of Science Week is to encourage everybody to have an interest in science, whether they are going to study science or not. We feel it’s very important that everyone has some understanding of the importance of science in all our lives."
Since St. Patrick got rid of the snakes, it's not often that our young folk get the chance to see and even touch a live one.
So school children taking part in Science Week grabbed the opportunity with both hands yesterday.
They turned up in their droves at Waterford Institute of Technology's main campus to be treated to the sight and touch of spiders, snakes, lizards, scorpions and even a tarantula.
Nerves? There were a few but, according to organiser Dave Griffin of Dave's Jungle in Tullow, Co. Carlow, too few to bother mentioning.
"The tarantula is usually a good gauge and most of them held one. Before long they had tarantulas on their heads," he said afterwards.
"They were very good with the snakes too, very few of them didn't hold the snakes."
About 150 children from various schools got the chance to experience the creatures first-hand.
- Conor Kane
Thursday November 12 2009
Girls from White Church National School, Co. Waterford.
Picture by Richard Povey .
Spike and Kevin, these are actual reptiles used in the demonstrations.