A few years back, an alligator breezed through a set of pressure-sensitive automatic doors, into an office building at NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC). As clock punchers came in for their morning shift, they were greeted by a smug, six-foot reptile, lounging under a bench in the lobby.
But the oddest part of the encounter? At NASA HQ, this type of thing happens all the time.
When Modern Farmer visited KSC for our story on space farming, we overheard some weird water-cooler talk. With the ease of say, New Yorkers griping about train delays, NASA employees discuss encounters with boars and bald eagles, raccoons and rattlesnakes, bobcats and buzzards — you get the drift.
‘We’ve got gators blocking doorways, hiding under cars, climbing fences. We’ve got little-bitty ones to sure enough big gators. Sometimes we find them on the fringes, eating people’s dogs.’
“Nobody really freaks out,” says Gerard Newsham, NASA research scientist. “All these animals come with the territory.”