I had a good time showing a group of six youth around the animal department last Sunday during our Junior Keeper program. This program is a chance for kids to come learn what it’s like to be a keeper. We had one junior keeper who returned after participating last year, and one who drove 4 hours all the way from the NC coast! They showed up at 9:00am, and we started off by raking the goat yard and brushing Rocky and Patches. Patches, who usually doesn’t like that much attention, let the kids brush him, so I was pleasantly surprised!
They fed the pigs, threw rats to the wolves, put enrichment toys and treats out for the bears, and got to see Gus bear up close (and feel him lick a raisin off the palm of their hand!)
We worked inside too, touring our dead mouse freezer (lots of “gross” and “eeew”s exclaimed), and gave the ferrets their nutritional supplements.
I think they all had a good time, and hopefully learned a little about zookeeping!
Our next junior keeper program will be on Sunday, November 21st (from 1:00-4:00), The program is available to members, and spots go fast!