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Students at Bath College have got up close and personal with some of the world’s most dangerous animals.

Animal Care and Animal Management students at the Somer Valley Campus came face-to-face with an alligator and crocodile as part of their course

Around 40 Level 1-3 students got to meet the reptiles and hold them during a visit by Pete Blake of Reptile Zone in Bristol.

Mr Blake showed students how crocodilia can be cared for and kept in captivity.  He has a Dangerous Wild Animals licence and also keeps 50 venomous snakes from across the world.

Animal Care Coordinator Wayne Clarke said the talk was organised to help educate students about animals they wouldn’t normally come into contact with.

He said: “The students really enjoyed the experience, although there were quite a few scared faces when it came to handling the reptiles.

“It’s not everyday students get so close to some of the world’s most dangerous animals so it was a great opportunity for them.

“The information given to them about how to care for these animals will be useful in their future careers.

“There is a widespread misunderstanding about reptiles. Holding the animals has hopefully reduced their fears and given them a better understanding.”

Even Principal Matt Atkinson tried to put on a brave face as he posed for ‘snaps’ with Ali G the baby alligator.

He said: “Seeing an alligator walking around a classroom like a dog was one of the most bizarre things I’ve seen.

“When I was asked if I’d like to hold the baby alligator, I initially said ‘no.’

“But then I changed my mind because I wanted to impress the students!”

Bath College runs a range of Animal Care courses giving students the theoretical and practical knowledge to succeed in the industry. Courses cover the health, welfare, handling and husbandry of animals.

The Animal Care Centre at the Somer Valley Campus is home to a wide range of rodents, reptiles, birds, amphibians, fish and creepy crawlies.

Call the Student Advice Centre on 01225 312191 for more information if you are interested in Animal Care courses.

WEB Principal Matt Atkinson with alligator WEB Animal Care student with alligator WEB student with croc

 It's a snap! Students and Principal Matt Atkinson put on brave faces as they posed with a baby alligator.

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