Changes in the Florida wetlands affect the native alligators’ habitats. As humans develop Florida and fill in wetlands to build homes and commercial properties, alligators have nowhere to go. In this video segment from WILD TV, Todd Hardwick has a business called Pesky Critters. He goes to houses to remove alligators who invade homes and other spaces humans inhabit. We see him answer a call from a homeowner who saw an alligator near his pool. The alligator is caught and later returned to the wild.
Animal science, environments, habitats
The following Frame, Focus and Follow-up suggestions are best suited for elementary or middle school students using this video in an English language arts or science lesson. Be sure to modify the questions to meet your students' instructional needs.
What is Frame, Focus and Follow-up?
Frame (ELA) Discuss a book students just read or are currently reading. What is the setting of the story? How can it be important to your understanding of the story?
Focus (ELA) What is the setting of this video? Where does it take place?
Follow Up (ELA) What is important about the setting of the story that helps us understand the relationship between people and alligators? Discuss the information the video provides about the signifigance of the setting and how the landscape in Florida is changing.
Frame (SCI) An animal has a natural habitat. What does this mean?
Focus (SCI) How is the natural habitat of the native alligators in Florida changing?
Follow Up (SCI) Discuss how habitats are changing for animals in Florida. Think of some solutions to this problem that would be beneficial to both the native animals and the people.
TODD HARDWICK (PESKY CRITTERS): My name is Todd Hardwick and I’m a native-born Floridian. I’ve spent my entire life here in South Florida. And I think its one of the greatest places in the world. There’s the Everglades on one side of us and the Atlantic Ocean and Biscayne Bay and the tropical reefs and all sorts of mangrove swamps, it’s just a very diverse habitat here.
TODD: Unfortunately I’ve seen a lot of changes here in my lifetime. And a lot of those changes are really habitat destruction and how the different animals are adapting to that.
TODD: Basically I intervene when wild animals have a conflict with people, their property and even their pets. We can not continue to fill in wetlands and destroy habitats to build housing developments and shopping centers without displacing wildlife and having conflicts arise with these wild animals.
TODD: I look out and I see the wetlands being filled in. Acres and acres everyday, there’s just a constant rumble of bulldozers and heavy equipment and they’re digging lakes and filling in the swamps.
TODD: The largest impacts that I’ve seen is with the American alligator. This area right here, three years ago was a wetland, and now, the past two years I’ve been out here removing unwanted alligators from people’s backyards. It’s really a tough place for what is the apex predator. I mean the alligator is the top of the food chain.
TODD: It does what alligators do naturally is eat things, and in fact they eat so many dogs in Florida every year, the records aren’t even kept on it.
TODD: We handle hundreds of calls every year reference alligators. Alligators on golf courses, alligators in tennis courts. They don’t understand that…
TODD: Pesky critters, okay, calm down, I can’t understand you, you have an alligator? Okay listen to me, I want you to bring the dogs in okay. Put those dogs in the house, first thing. His life depends on it you’ve got, you’ve GOT to calm down and do it.
TODD: What’s your address? Try to relax, I’ll be there within 10 minutes. I’m not far. Okay? All right. Thank you.
TODD: We’re going to have to end this interview. I have an emergency. I’ve got an alligator in a guy’s yard and he’s freaking out and I’m going to need your help. Can I count on you?
TODD: OK, let’s go.
TODD: How ya doing? I’m from alligator control.
TODD: Did you call about an alligator?
MAN: Yes we did, yeah.
TODD: Now you’re sure it’s not an iguana?
MAN: No it’s an alligator I tell ya. It’s a big one.
TODD: How? Three, four, feet?
MAN: 4,5, 6 feet!
WALI: Whoo hey!
MAN: A big one! Over there somewhere…
WALI: I want to call for backup!
TODD: No, well you are my backup.
WALI: We need more backup.
TODD: Listen he’s probably trying to get into the pool here for the water. He’s out moving. We need to find him before we lose him out here.
WALI: The man said six feet.
TODD: And you have your dogs put up. Right?
MAN: The dogs are in.
TODD: That’s small. We get them up to 14 feet.
WALI: This is my first alligator. Can we start with a 1 foot?
TODD: No, no, no…this is it! This alligator will hurt you.
WALI: I believe you.
TODD: So, stay focused. Keep your thought. We’re much smarter. We have much bigger brains than this alligator.
Academic standards correlations on Teachers' Domain use the Achievement Standards Network (ASN) database of state and national standards, provided to NSDL projects courtesy of JES & Co.
We assign reference terms to each statement within a standards document and to each media resource, and correlations are based upon matches of these terms for a given grade band. If a particular standards document of interest to you is not displayed yet, it most likely has not yet been processed by ASN or by Teachers' Domain. We will be adding social studies and arts correlations over the coming year, and also will be increasing the specificity of alignment.