A giant millipede was one of several unusual creatures seen crawling on the hands of children at Glebe Primary School, Southwick.
Fortunately, the 15cm long ‘beastie’ had not been dug up from the school playing field but was part of a live animal-handling workshop offered by a company called ZooLab.
I couldn’t believe just how slimy the snail was or how sticky the cockroach’s feet were – it could even hang upside down on your hand!Will Weatherill Year 4
The visit was part of Year 4’s lessons about the Amazon rainforest and gave children the chance to see, hold and touch the creatures which live in the carious layers of the forest.
Youngsters learned the giant millipede, along with the giant African snail and giant cockroach, plus the very hairy tarantula, would all be happy racing around the bottom layer, known as the forest floor.
The tree snake, the fire-belly toads and the comb-crested forest lizard would all prefer life above ground in the under-storey and canopy layers of the rainforest.
Year 4 teacher Pauline Davies said: “This has been a great experience for the children. Last week they were researching all about these creatures for a class Wiki page they are producing, whereas today that they are seeing these animals in the flesh, rather than just as a photograph in a book! How brilliant is that?’
Andy Baker, who also teaches in Year 4, added: “I just love it when ZooLab comes in as the children are just so in awe when they see the creatures for real.
“Watching their faces light up as each new animal is brought out is just about the best thing.”
Pupil Isla Schafer said: “I really enjoyed holding all the animals – even the giant cockroach – as they actually feel quite different to how you expect them to feel. My favourite was the tree snake as he was so soft and silky to stroke.”
Will Weatherill summed up the excitement of the lesson when he said: “That was awesome! I couldn’t believe just how slimy the snail was or how sticky the cockroach’s feet were – it could even hang upside down on your hand! Wicked!”
To find out more about Zoolab, log on to www.zoolabuk.com .
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