Speaker: Tyler Bunck
Can you explain what happened when you first started experiencing issues or realized the froggy’s lair biosphere was bad for your frogs?
Tyler Bunck: I bought Froggy's Lair from a local store, um, as a class pet for my students. It seemed too good to be true. They only needed a fed every two or three days. And, um, I wouldn't have to do much cleaning. It seemed like the perfect pet for my classroom after about two weeks, uh, the plant inside of my froggy lair biosphere, um, started to die and I was concerned because on the card it says the plant is really important. And so I went to their website and I just got a bad feeling. I didn't feel like the website was giving enough information. Um, and it said things like, oh, well, if you, if a frog dies we'll replace it. And, um, I started to worry that my frogs, uh, weren't as happy as I thought they were. And so I did a little bit of research about what African dwarf frogs need and, um, realized that my frogs should have two gallons of water per frog. And my frogs were living and not even a whole gallon of water. Um, and so I decided to, um, get a new tank and set them up. So that they could be happy.
How has this experience affected you?
Tyler Bunck: This experience has affected me as a teacher, especially because Froggy's Lair is marketed towards children and it's advertised as a stem experience. And Children can have this scientific experience of seeing how these frogs live in this biosphere that provides all of their needs. But that's not the case. And children aren't actually learning about what animals need to survive. And I think Children can learn a lot from taking care of an animal and learning that responsibility and understanding what those animals need. But Froggy's Lair is taking advantage of children and taking advantage of people that want to give children those kinds of experiences by marketing their product as something that it's not. And also these frogs deserve to have the things that they need and to live in an environment that is good for them.
If you could say anything to someone who was thinking about purchasing a Froggy’s Lair Biosphere, what would you tell them?
Tyler Bunck: Every year I read a book to my third grader. It's called the one and only Ivan by Catherine Applegate. It's a book about a gorilla named Ivan. And even though the book is fictional, Ivan was a real gorilla who lived in a one room enclosure in a mall for 27 years alone. And, um, my students are always shocked by the cruelty of humans and how people can be so cruel to animals and they want to speak up for animals that can't speak for themselves. And I think it's important for them to see that just because something can be survived doesn't mean that it should have to be. And just because those frogs can survive in a Froggy Lair biosphere doesn't mean that they should have to survive in a Froggy's Lair biosphere. It's cruel and it's inhumane and we have a responsibility to speak up for them and to give them a voice when they don't have one.