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I have a real desire to start a "KIDS" zoo .
I find most zoos are good , but not very interactive and alot of the kids get bored.
No really big animals , not many wild and crazy exotic animals
but a place for kids to go and be interactive with the animals
very hard to explain in this little bit of letter but some examples would be...
Turtle exibit - the tanks would be 6 foot tall and glass front - diffrent species of turtles would be in different tanks but each tank would show the environment and "food" sources for e turtles , the kids could sit and watch the turtles swim and eat . then they would proceed "up" and see the topside of the environment.
Maybe even purchase "fish, food, treats " to throw intothe tank to watch the turtles interact
same concept with a few lizard rooms, fish tanks , bird cages, bug handling room.
the whole concept of this zoo is to get the kids actually touching , feeling feeding the animals.
Justthrowing this out there.
I am trying to figure out how to get funding as well as looking at places to start it. I am looking into old mill buildings.
For small children, being able to touch animals is important and also being able to see them up close. I am always amazed at the zoo I volunteer at how kids can be at an overlook for rhino (or any other big animal) and get really excited when a squirrel runs by them.
Several small exotic animals are good for closeup (touch) encounters. Just go to any major zoo when the docents are out (or in their education center) and see what they are using. At my zoo, we use hedgehog, savannah monitor, blue tongue skink (2 species), trans-pecos rat snake, ball python, juvenile tortoises (I forget the species), hairy armadillo (very popular), plus a few domestics like ferret and guinea pig.
For signage, anything interactive that kids can spin or slide is good.
If it is feasable, you may want to have one major exhibit of a large animal (on the outside of the building) to draw in crowds and put on your brochures. Tiger or the like would be ideal, but food bills may be cost prohibitive. An alternative would be alligator or some other crocodilian.
Last edited by Arizona Docent; 04-06-2011 at 01:25 PM..
Perhaps a show of some sort can get kids interested. For example, kids and adults alike can be enthralled with seeing a bird fly over them, or taking an example from Beardsley Zoo, they did a show on what animals made good pets and which animals didn't, and there were parts where kids could go up and hold a gator skull or hold out a shedded python skin. A children's zoo where kids can pet and feed goats and sheep also is very interactive, and I've seen children really starting to appreciate a zoo where you can feed and pet farmyard animals. And of course, playgrounds always get kids excited.