Another great post from a Zoo Academy student guest blogger:
Hello, I am Brian Garcia. I am a Zoo Academy senior. The Zoo Academy is a high school program offered through Hughes STEM High School for Upper Classmen. In the morning, the juniors are at the Zoo and seniors are at Hughes, and in the afternoon, the seniors are at the Zoo and juniors are at Hughes. This school is one of a kind. We are the only school in the world that can see giraffes out the window. Also, at the end of our senior year we get a certificate stating that we have had training in exotic animal husbandry, which is another thing that this school is known for.
I am now going to talk about my one of my lab experiences. In my junior year, one of my first rotations was in the elephant house where I had to clean up after them. After a couple of weeks of hard work, I had an experience of a lifetime; I was able to give Mai-Thai (the Zoo’s oldest elephant) a bath and got my picture taken with her. I was amazed at how well she listened to the keeper.
Another experience that I had earlier this year was when I was doing a project on cheetahs. I interviewed the Cat Show keepers. After I interviewed them, they asked if I needed any pictures of the cheetahs. The keepers told me to come back the next week to take some pictures. So when the next week came by, I went back up to the Cat Show. I didn’t think that I was going to go into an actual cheetah pen, but I got to go in with Tommy T! It was so cool, I got to meet him and get some funny pictures of a cheetah. It was a little hard because cheetahs don’t stay still, but it was fun!
My most recent experience was handling the newest members of the interpretive collection, the Apalachicola king snakes. It was awesome. For a week, I got to handle and help socialize two beautiful creatures. They were very shy at first, but once they got to know that I was not going to hurt them they were so active and liked to explore.
This program for me is a godsend. I was contemplating dropping out of high school because I lost my drive to go to school and to better myself. Coming here and learning about animals sparked my inner drive to finish high school. I could honestly say that if it was not for this I would have no idea on what I would want to do with my life. Now I know that I want to be an Environmental Scientist working on waste water management, to help stop the pollution of our water ways.
December 10, 2012 1 Comment
Meet Christen, our current Education Department intern:
Hey guys! My name is Christen and I have a few positions in the Education Department here at the Zoo, but just taught my first youth program in November. The kids learned all about the relationships between animals and their mothers in “Does a Kangaroo have a Mother, too?” It was awesome watching my three-year-olds put facts and concepts together and understand that every animal on Earth, including the wildest of animals (of course, I’m talking about those three-year-olds) come from their mother and have a very special and unique relationship with them. They even got to meet (and touch) Keystone, our baby American Alligator! How many three-year-olds can say they have touched an American Alligator? What a great story to tell the family at Christmas!
Of course, after such a great experience teaching my first class, I had to know what we were offering in December. The program is called “Bird Treats.” Are you ready for this? The kids get to make a bird feeder! Now, they are three-year-olds, so the bird feeder is comprised of cereal and popcorn, but what a cool craft! And they will be able to take that home with them and watch the birds eat it right in their own backyard, reinforcing everything they will have learned in the program. They will learn a lot about our feathered friends while they are here, and you never know, they might even have a feathered visitor!
“Does a Kangaroo have a Mother, too?” and “Bird Treats” are programs that are specific to three-year-olds, but we have great programs here for every age group and for the whole family, too! All of the educators here (tooting my own horn) are very talented and you’re sure to have a positive experience attending any of these programs. If you’ve never tried one, go ahead and check them out! You can find all of the information here: http://cincinnatizoo.org/education/kids-families/
December 10, 2012 1 Comment
Meet Cinder, Thatcher, and Magnolia – our three little pigs. Domestic pigs bred for their small size, they are mini Juliana pigs and will only grow up to about 50 lbs. Thatcher is the spotted male with the blue harness. Magnolia is the spotted female with the purple harness. Cinder is a reddish-brown male.
The pigs live in the Children’s Zoo and can be seen walking around the park with their trainers. At just about 10 weeks old, they are still learning what it’s all about. I’m lucky enough to be on Cinder’s training team.
This morning we took them for an early morning walk before it got too hot. We stopped to play on the central lawn where the pigs discovered a sprinkler.
Pigs are social by nature. They are curious, intelligent, and easy to train.
Thatcher and Magnolia will soon be showing off their skills in the Barnyard Bonanza show, and Cinder will be out and about meeting and greeting guests. Keep an eye out for them next time you’re at the Zoo!
June 28, 2012 3 Comments