Turtles, Alligators & Ducks, Oh My!

This week has been … interesting, to say the least and it’s not over yet.

On Monday, I was hit with the hard stuff: a great, non-traditional story that the readers would love. The thing is, with this great reader-friendly story came the inevitable backlash.

A little boy witnessed his pet turtle (Tomalina the turtle, if you care) being eaten by an alligator (Again, Gracie the alligator if you care at all) minutes after donating him to the Gulfarium. (Read it)

It had everything you would want in a story: great quotes, controversy and random animals.

The thing is, the Gulfarium is an advertiser and does a lot of good in the community. After speaking with the manager, he told me how disappointed he was in me, the paper and that this would lead to terrible things for their organization.

I told my editor. Mistake.

He is conservative, to say the least. So the call was made. The story would be online only and he rejected any pictures of 8-year-old Colton and Tomalina saying he didn’t want to “sensationalize.”

When the mom heard it would only be online she fired away. She called me two times then had her husband call me all to yell.


The story, despite being online only and without pictures, is still one of our most commented stories. I guess people can’t resist hearing about a little boy being traumatized.

Tomorrow, however, is what I’m most looking forward to.

Not only is it a half day for me, but the one story on the budget is about am 80-year-old man who has a pet duck (named J.D., which stands for Just a Duck, if you care) that he walks in a stroller every day.

You are wondering why — me too. I’ll get exercise and a really interesting story out of it.

What a week.


One response to “Turtles, Alligators & Ducks, Oh My!

  1. I read the article and I don’t know why the Gulfarium was worried. Based on the comments, it seems like there is more concern and support for the Gulfarium and not the 8-year-old.

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