Evil little caterpillar sitting up the tree,
Watching me eat lunch, you can’t catch me!
Ouch, evil caterpillar down you fell,
To think Mr Meyer’s wished you well.
I wanted you all gone but that wasn’t to be,
Now I’m all itchy cos’ you fell on me…
Poem By: Nurse Cooper
Some of us are wondering why are the lunch tables next to Cheeku are blocked off? This would be due to the small, some-say-cute, fuzzy caterpillars on the tree branches. Though you may think, why are the lunch tables blocked off because of some teeny tiny caterpillars – Well not only are these caterpillars fuzzy and small, but they can pack a punch when the fuzz comes into contact with your skin. Finding out that a caterpillar had fallen on Norimah an ISKL cleaner while she was sweeping the area, caused her arm to swell up due to the toxins that lay on it’s fur, shocks people who knew. High School/Middle School nurse Judith Cooper had asked what had happened and this was her only response “I worry for the safety of the students and kids who play and eat lunch right next to the tree,” said Norimah when asked about the incident.
People at first were ready to get rid of them, to cut the branches they were on or to move the caterpillars somehow from the trees. But it came to the attention of the environmental coordinate that these caterpillars just want to live their lives and are part of our school’s eco system. Laurence Myers, the environmental coordinator in ISKL, thinks having them there is ideal for some science classes to learn about the life cycle of butterflies or moths. “I think, instead of getting rid of them, we should really appreciate having them here because it’s a learning opportunity for the science department students to understand their life cycle.” “Though these caterpillars do have a toxin layer on their fur, not only have we cornered off the area, but we also put up signs explaining why students shouldn’t sit there and a little fact about the caterpillars.” Mr Myers, having talked to the Safety Officer, Operations Officer and the Health Department on what we should do about the situation, is to infact not removing them or spraying any kind of chemicals to get rid of them. He is simply keeping them there for an opportunity to understand the life cycle for the science departments.
Judith Cooper, the school nurse, suggests that we do in fact remove the caterpillars because of the safety for the kids in ISKL “If a student were to get a caterpillar falling on them, and having a parent find out, knowing that we haven’t really done anything to solve this problem, it would be a big issue on our hands.
While having a look at the caterpillars with Mr Myers, Jessica ‘16 notes: “As I know that these caterpillars are dangerous and contain a toxin on their coats, I would also agree that it’s ideal for students to learn more about the environment” Jessica being an environmental officer together with her friend Chloe ‘16, supports the idea to keep the caterpillars so we can study and to watch the beauty of them turning in the moths.
These caterpillars are here to stay, Mr Myers encourages students to pass by and have a look at their new furry friends to ISKL and that having them there are a blessing to some science classes, but be cautious, they still are dangerous…