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See ya later Alligator!

By Susan Bahorich, sbahorich@wdbj7.com
Published On: Jul 14 2013 01:30:49 PM EDT
Updated On: Jul 15 2013 12:26:15 AM EDT

Alligator show wows audiences at the Salem Fair

SALEM, Va. -

For the last week, a smile has been bringing in the crowds.
Welcome to 'Kachunga and the Alligator Show!'

Kachunga is David Castillo.
And, for the last 25-years he and his reptilian friends have been touring the country educating people about alligators.

"They're so misunderstood, the gator, and to allow the public to see they're not going to be in danger and they're learning, makes us less afraid," explains Castillo.

Castillo say there's a lot of myths and misinformation about the animal that he and his team are trying to dispel.

"Like rubbing the alligator's belly, putting them to sleep, people are like: 'Oh that's good. It's cool to see that.' But, rubbing the belly doesn't really put an alligator to sleep. As well, as can gators run as fast a horse? Will they come after me? They're very quick to defend themselves and they're fast in a quick burst, trying to catch prey, but they don't just get up on all fours chasing their food around," says Castillo.

While the audience walks away with a lot of knowledge, there's plenty of fun and lots of laughs.

And, while Castillo wants his audiences to enjoy themselves, he also wants them to have a healthy respect for these unique creatures.

Explains Castillo, "Now a days there are so many kids interested in reptiles, especially gators like you mentioned earlier, and it's all because of the fascination they have now and the understanding that they're not something that's just bad."