It isn’t every day you show up to work and find an alligator.
But if there’s one thing I’ve learned from a year working at a science company like 3M, it’s to expect the unexpected.
This week 3M invited teachers to visit campus and check out classroom resources available through 3Mgives, the company’s charitable arm. I was there to interview teachers about their experiences with 3M’s Visiting Wizards, the popular program that offers live physics demos from our scientists.
Among the non-human visitors was the aforementioned alligator – a guest of the Minnesota Herpetological Society.
Alligators aren’t native to Minnesota. As a cold-blooded reptile, alligators can’t survive the harsh northern winters, when temperatures outside routinely drop below zero.
The alligator’s owner, a kindly woman who calmly sat with the reptile in her lap, explained that her son found it in a local alley. Apparently the person who bought it as a pet had second thoughts about what it would grow into.
Luckily, the gator found its way to a good home. To get the gator to smile for this photo, its “mom” promised a nice, juicy rat.