Southfield Boy is New Mayor of Amphibiville at Detroit Zoo in Royal Oak

Sure, the presidential election is on Tuesday, Nov. 6 this year. But did you hear who was voted the new mayor of Amphibiville at the Detroit Zoo in Royal Oak?

That would be Gabriel P.J. Graydon, 11, of Southfield. News hit today – Halloween, Oct. 31 – that he was just sworn-in to a two-year term presiding over this two-acre wetland village, which is home of the National Amphibian Conservation Center.

The Detroit Zoo kicked off its contest to find a new “slime-loving politician” – not to be confused with slimy, of course! – back on Sept. 5. Gabriel made a strong case in his 100-word essay for the competition, which was open to Michigan kids ages 7-12.

“I love and understand what they are and why they exist – and the benefits of their existence on earth,” Gabriel explained in his essay. “Under-appreciated species are my passion. I think it is time to put that passion to work.”

In a phone interview, he also told Metro Parent, “I appreciate their helping of the environment” – and he thinks they’ve got pretty awesome anatomy, from frogs’ abilities to “jump very high” to that sticky stuff on their tongues that catches buggy snacks.

Gabriel, an academically gifted sixth grader who plans to study insect ecology and herpetology in college (and frequent visitor to the zoo, his mom, Tamika Graydon, says), beat out 57 other candidates to earn his office.

He gets a plaque inscribed with name, certificate acknowledging his position, plush frog and a one-year family zoo membership.

The outgoing mayor is Claire Kozal, 10, of Whitmore Lake. Amphibiville has a wide variety of frogs, toads, salamanders, newts and caecilians. The Wall Street Journal has dubbed it “Disneyland for toads,” the zoo notes.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -

Latest Stories

Beyond Van Gogh Exhibit Coming to Detroit

Become a part of a Vincent Van Gogh painting at Beyond Van Gogh Detroit, which will be on display starting June 25, 2021 at the TCF Center.

18 Educational YouTube Channels for Kids

YouTube isn’t all cat videos and ASMR, there’s plenty of educational YouTube Channels, too. Here are 18 of them that we recommend for your kids.

Horseback Riding Places for Kids in Metro Detroit

It doesn't matter if you're a horse expert or novice — these horseback riding places in metro Detroit and beyond have camps, lessons and more for all ages and experience levels.

10 Waterfalls in the Midwest to Visit with Kids

Treat the kids to a road trip to one of nature's most beautiful creations. Check out our list of must-see waterfalls in the Midwest to plan your trip.


- Advertisement -