Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Camps! 2

So camp finally started this week and what a WONDERFUL event it is =)

I have three campers in this camp that i had last year in the younger group. How exciting is that? Kory and I got some amazing reviews and the best part? We didn't have to ASK them what they thought of the day. They TOLD us (without asking, I say again) that they had fun!!!


What did we do?

We fed Lorikeets:

They are the loud birds not too far from the entrance of the zoo!

Then we went back to the classroom and had a discussion about the 4 cornerstones of the zoo. These cornerstones are affiliated with the AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums) To be AZA certified you have to meet a set level of standards. Super HIGH standards. It is hard to become AZA certified and difficult to maintain it for some zoos. It was made to ensure the health and safe management of the zoo animals so there is no unregulated breeding or unsafe habitats for them. It is really for the overal safety of the animals. So if you ever go to a Zoo as if they are AZA certified....if they are not...then just be wary of what you see.

So I mentioned the 4 cornerstones, right? Well here they are:
1. Conservation
2. Research
3. Education
4. Entertainment

I work with Education but people in our department are a part of the Research part of the zoo. To be AZA certified you are given a special "animal" to do research on and work towards conservation of that animal. So obviously they are endangered and research is needed in order to protect and conserve these animals. What is the Kansas City Zoo's animal? The Wyoming Toad! EXCITING!?!?

They are dying do to a fungus that has literally wiped out a majority of the species. We have special "ark's" where they are raised. Security is so tight around these little guys that you have to be a specialist to enter the 'ark' to care for them. Once they have grown to adulthood they are then transported, by people from the KC zoo, and released (after they've been microchipped) back into the wild.
Their hope? To boost the population and see if any fungus-resistant toads make it!!

Anyways, we also went to Africa and had a keeper chat. SO much fun.

Tomorrow we're going to Austraila and Asia, doing an OIL spill lab, and working on Terra Cotta warriors (it will tie in with the Asia segment of our tour).

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