YOUNGSTERS went wild when TV star Crocodile Joe paid a visit to their class with some friends.

The conservationist, from Atherton, brought milk snakes, corn snakes, burmese pythons, sudan plated lizards and a tarantula to Church Road Primary School.

He also took along didgeridoos for the pupils to play.

Joe also taught children about the importance of using biodegradable bags, after being touched by the story of an Australian crocodile, named Sparticus, which died from eating plastic bags. Crocodile Joe, whose real name is Joe McQuade, was delighted by the youngsters’ enthusiasm.

He said: “They have got great manners and they were pretty savvy about the environment. It surprised me how keen they were — you never know what to expect from school visits, but the children were absolutely in awe of the creatures I brought in.

“It’s paramount to teach these kids about nature. There’s a big open world out there and everything we do has a consequence, which is what I want to teach them.”

Pupils at the school in Captains Clough Road, Smithills, learned about each animal, such as what they eat and how long they are.

They also got to hold the creatures and take part in demonstrations.

Year one teacher Helen Calderbank, said: “The children loved it. Crocodile Joe was very good. He was really hands-on and he caught their attention. They have been opened up to a whole new world and every area of the curriculum has been covered.”

George Bowen, aged six, said: “I really enjoyed it because I learnt a lot about animals. Crocodile Joe was very friendly and funny.”

Lily Pitfield, aged five, said: “Crocodile Joe was really interesting and brave. I enjoyed it, because I saw animals I’d never seen before.”