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Outreach/Program/Education Animal Ambassadors

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by Eublepharis, 18 Oct 2015.

  1. Eublepharis

    Eublepharis Well-Known Member

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    Michigan
    Not sure if someone made a topic before, but I think we need a topic of non-exhibit animals. :p

    Kinkajou, various macaws, many of the "pet-store" animals (ferrets, leopard geckos, ball pythons, bearded dragons, guinea pig, etc.), serval, fennec fox, various birds of prey, and even tenrecs I've heard. Cockatoos, junglefowl (and chickens themselves), and I've heard of even a red panda being used as outreach animals.

    How are they usually housed? I know zoos usually keep them in exhibits not really "fashionable" or "natural" in plain peoples' guests faces, but in my opinion I think it's quite interesting to see.

    Toledo IIRC has an Education Animal Barn, where certain education animals are viewed even in their enclosures (which usually suit more of the animals than the appeal of the guests), and some zoos and aquaria even have special rotation enclosures, from Seaworld San Diego's rather lush, to other zoos having "themes" to surrounding enclosures (from simple lawns to even barn-themed enclosures).
     
  2. Zoovolunteer

    Zoovolunteer Well-Known Member

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    At Bristol the volunteers(under staff supervision) look after a set of smaller off-show animals , mainly various invertebrates and some reptiles, in an off-exhibit animal room to house their vivaria. There are also various larger mammals and birds, including armadillo, kookaburra, raccoon, scarlet macaw and red ruffed lemurs, housed in a special section that visitors walk past. The education center also has a separate set that they house and use for lessons held there on school visits.
     
  3. Memo

    Memo Member

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    Iowa, US
    When I was in elementary school I did a summer camp focused on outreach animals and exhibit design at the Blank Park Zoo. One of the things we did was tour the educational animal housing. They had standard pet style housing for most of the animals -- bird cages, aquariums/terrariums, kennels, etc. A few animals, like a tortoise, had some child containment fences. The larger parrots had outdoor aviaries.

    The facility itself was just off the main zoo, separated by a gate. Since then an area for traveling animatronics and bird shows has been built adjacent to it and some old Corp of engineers land has been bought, also adjacent. I'm not sure if that has had an impact on it. When I was there for a day during AgDiscovery two years ago the guide couldn't answer any questions about it and had more of a focus on the new rhino exhibit.

    The vast majority of the animals were pet types. Ferrets, various lizards, parrots, tortoises, ducks, pot bellied pigs and so on. The most non-pet animals were baby alligators they rent from a farm in Florida and send back for new ones when they get too big.
     
  4. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

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    Like everything else in zoos: it varies depending on the zoo

    The North American zoo community refers to these as "program animals."
    Usually they are managed by the education department. Some zoos, such as Columbus Zoo & Aquarium, have separate departments just for the program animals and their programs (the "Watering Hole" section of "Heart of Africa" is shared between the program animal group and the exhibit animals)
    Some zoos have separate buildings to house these animals. Not in what we would call exhibits usually.
    Other zoos have them in the Education Department area
     
  5. Eublepharis

    Eublepharis Well-Known Member

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    Quite interesting I shall say :D

    Doesn't San Diego have a zebra and a donkey, both kept as program animals? Afaik they bring the duo out certain times of the day, and said zebra lives with only the donkey.
     
  6. Arizona Docent

    Arizona Docent Moderator Staff Member

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    San Diego has by far the most interesting education animals I have seen anywhere. On my last visit to SD Safari Park I saw a warthog on a leash and a fossa on a leash.
     
  7. Eublepharis

    Eublepharis Well-Known Member

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    Michigan
    That's right XD

    Are they the only institution to hold a tree pangolin (another program animal) in the U.S.A. as of right now?