By Kristin Kirtz
Harrison Pantera, a junior at MSU Moorhead, has a real dedication to school, and it doesn’t just pertain to his studies.
Everyday Pantera sets time aside to take care of Curie, an eight-year-old iguana that lives in the Science Lab on campus.
For a year and a half Pantera hasn’t had a day off from his duties of feeding, changing the water and cleaning Curie’s enclosure.
“I even came in on the snow day this year,” Pantera said.
Although it can be a bit of a burden, Pantera enjoys his time with Curie.
“It’s a really good stress reliever,” he said. “Once you spend a lot of time with him, you get to know his personality, which isn’t something you’d expect from a reptile.”
Curie was originally a former student’s pet and was donated to MSUM when the school’s prior iguana, Niko, died.
Now, three years later, Curie and Pantera have built what some would call a friendship.
“I like to take him outside for walks in the summer, and feed him berries for treats,” Pantera said. “I think it keeps him sane.”
Shireen Alemadi, biosciences professor, said, “Students love it when they are walking from classes and see Curie out.”
Pantera is looking into attending a research program over the summer, but he isn’t sure how he feels about letting someone else take on his responsibilities.
“Even for a few months, I’m kind of nervous about letting someone else take care of him,” Pantera said.
But no matter who takes on this task, one thing will remain constant–Curie will be adored by MSUM Dragons.
Click on the pictures below to enlarge.