Meet Savannah Boan – The Woman Who Tames Enormous Reptiles at Gatorland
Alligators and crocodiles, often considered the most bone-chilling reptiles, have the potential to give one a shiver down the spine just by a single glance. However, in the heart of Florida, there is a fearless woman who not just effortlessly tames and handles these slithery beasts but also bonds with them like family. For her, they are far better companions than humans.
She is Savannah Boan, the dauntless crocodile handler of Gatorland in Orlando, Florida. Want to know the story of the only female crocodile handler at Gatorland? Stay glued to your device as we unveil her extraordinary journey!
Meet Savannah, the Crocodile Whisperer of Gatorland
Savannah Boan, a wildlife conservationist, is also a leading crocodile advocate and the Park Director at Gatorland. Her mastery over reptiles, especially crocodiles and alligators, is unparalleled. Be it feeding these dinosaur descendants or cooling their fiery spirits down, she can do it all.
Savannah spent her early years in South California. She was born and brought up in the old town of Cheraw and recognized her love for bugs, snakes, and lizards at a tender age. Savannah recalls being knee-high to a grasshopper when she first started helping and saving bugs, snakes, and lizards. Despite her affinity for these ancient predators, the young lizard handler had different plans for herself.
It was the fantasy of Disney World that first brought Savannah to Central Florida. At the age of 16, she ran away and came to Florida with the dream of becoming Cinderella. On realizing that Disney was not looking for a 16-year-old runaway as their Cinderella, she decided to pursue her passion and her true calling of working with reptiles as her ultimate profession.
Before Gatorland, Savannah worked at a reptile zoo located in Orange County, South California. At this zoo, she took charge of baby crocodiles, monitor lizards, massive pythons, and many other reptiles, including the venomous giants. Though she always enjoyed being around crocs, her heart still belonged to Florida.
Working at Gatorland Was a Red-Carpet Moment for Savannah
With the goal of moving back to Florida, Savannah developed a deep-seated desire to serve Gatorland’s legacy. It took her seven years to land her first gig at Gatorland. Finally, in the year 2016, Savannah started working at the alligator capital of the world, which is home to more than 2,500 crocodiles and alligators. The crocodile advocate calls this moment her “red carpet moment,” as this was her ultimate dream.
At Gatorland, Savannah’s job is all about watching over massive alligators, huge saltwater crocodiles, Nile crocodiles, Orinoco crocodiles, and more.
Since Savannah joined the Gatorland team, there has been no looking back for her. She went on to become the International Ambassador of Gatorland Global Conservation, the Crocodilian Enrichment Coordinator, and now the Park Director of Gatorland.
Savannah asserts that there is a unique sense of mutual trust and friendship between these ancient predators and their handlers. These dinosaur descendants recognize her by sight and voice, while she knows each of them by their behaviors and names. According to Boan, every croc or alligator has a unique personality and distinct behavior. Because of this, the only way to work with them is to get to know their nature and behavior personally.
Savannah’s Profession Brings Her a Lot of Criticism
Savannah ensures safety for those who want to get up close and personal with crocodiles and alligators at Gatorland. However, she faces a lot of criticism for spending most of her life around these modern-day dinosaurs.
Many men and strangers who hide behind the face of anonymity hope she gets eaten by the giant crocs. She gets heavily trolled because people think that being constantly surrounded by crocs has made her end imminent. Being a woman, many believe that she isn’t suited for her job role as well.
Savannah also shares how her profession has taken a toll on her dating life. According to her, Men are too scared to date her as she works with prehistoric beasts on a daily basis. For Savannah, her crocs and alligators always come first, and the man who wishes to date her must be aware of that.
Despite the negativity and trolls, Savannah knows how to shrug all that off. She has a positive attitude and doesn’t let Internet bullying affect her. She continues to post about “Big Boss Richardo,” a Cuban croc and Savnnah’s favorite boy. Her family believes that she has chosen the profession which is best in line with her personality.
Savannah Is a Social Media Sensation with 300k+ Followers on Instagram
The crocodile expert not only decodes the reptile behavior exceedingly well but also uses her influence to protect these ancient predators. Savannah has a huge fanbase of 304k followers on Instagram and 221k followers on Facebook.
Her social media posts focus on crocodile and alligator behavior, ecology, and anatomy. She is also proactively working to change the dominant but negative perspective of fear and disgrace towards these reptiles.
Besides being the most influential voice for crocodiles and Florida wildlife, Savannah has also been a long-time radio personality in the top-rated Orlando talk show “The Monsters in the Morning.” She carries an impressive 25 years of experience in the entertainment industry.
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