Last week, Coyote Peterson, a wildlife adventurer and educator, offered a 2-part Zoom class about bites and stings. It was a free course hosted by Varsity Tutors. We’re familiar with his show ever since kids discovered his adventures on YouTube. They were thrilled to see him live.
If you don’t know Coyote Peterson, here’s a brief intro: He’s a popular YouTube personality and wildlife expert who travels the world to highlight the characteristics and species of rare animals living in those areas. He catches these animals, not easy to find, and teaches viewers all about their characteristics, habitat, and interesting facts. He ends with the tagline: “Be brave. Stay wild, and See you on the Next Adventure.”
My kids are big fans, and a favorite episode is Coyote P. meeting a rescue baby Sloth named B-Rad in Costa Rica’s nature center. Ellis has played B-Rad hundreds of times and think it’s hilarious that sloths climb down trees every seven days to poop. Yep, you guessed it right. Both of them role play sloths pooping on the ground with their nubby tails.
This was a mellow episode but others are too much adventure for me. He swims, leaps, jumps, climbs, falls, hikes…mostly in dangerous terrains.
Their favorite episodes involve Coyote getting bit or stung. Don’t understand the appeal, but they think it’s cool and scary at the same time.
These incidents are documented for the sake of teaching people about the effects of those bites and stings. On the Zoom call, one student asked how many times he’s been bitten: the actual number is hard to determine, but he’s been bitten by 52 species. Eeeek! How is this guy still alive?!
Those bites and stings look painful to bear; some of those effects can last for hours and cause excrutiating pain. We wince and wonder why anyone would purposely get bitten. It’s attention-grabbing entertainment, teaches how to avoid and respond to these attacks, and raises appreciation for animal’s innate protective mechanism. Message: don’t mess with wild animals, they’re not interested in interacting with humans, and give them their space. Animals and insects attack when they perceive threat rather than seeking human contact. That’s good to know! I’ll stick to my space.
I really appreciated Coyote Peterson emphasizing what not to do when you encounter a wild animal. Resist the urge to turn and run. Don’t run away! If you do, they will chase you and get hurt. Instead, make yourself large with loud noises, wave your arms, and stomp your feet to make yourself seem large and scary.
This was a nice treat! Thanks Varsity Tutors for offering this fun summer class for kids.