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Rare Love for Reptiles, On and Off Campus

Model poses with reptiles; teacher runs reptile farm

Gabriela Candina, Staff Reporter

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Fearless Italian model, Roberta Macino, said that by taking pictures and swimming with crocodiles underwater she would be fulfilling her lifelong dream to prove that crocodiles are “not bad animals.” Although she is an avid animal lover she was anxious and scared to be confronted with these notoriously ferocious animals. Macino is one of very few people who have taken a dip in reptile-infested waters; even fewer have taken pictures with these crocodiles in such close proximity.  Her team and she had to spend more than ten hours over the course of five days learning about these reptiles and swimming with them before the photo shoots. Then, the photo sessions took place in a lagoon in the middle of Banco Chinchorro, México, in the Gulf of Mexico. This area is described as being in the middle of nowhere and home to roughly seven hundred crocodiles.

Croc 1Pinecrest Preparatory Middle- High School has its own version of crocodile adventurer: Mrs.Wasilewski is also an enthusiastic and knowledgeable animal lover. She never had photo sessions at Banco Chincorro, Mexico, but she did previously work at Parrot Jungle Island, with various animals including reptiles. In fact, she explains that the first time she held an alligator in her hands, it sparked a lifetime interest. She pursued a Bachelor of Science in Biology and currently co-runs a reptile farm in addition to teaching science. She hopes that through her work and love towards animals, she can inspire biologists and environmentalists to continue the fight to preserve the environment and the many species that live in it.

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Rare Love for Reptiles, On and Off Campus