by Cheryl Senn
“He was cute and very interesting,” said Sophie Ramirez, about meeting a live Burrowing Owl, at the Sanger Library, during a recent visit from the Fresno Chaffee Zoomobile.
Burleigh Lockwood and Karan Johnson, docents with the Fresno Chaffee Zoo, drove the Zoomobile to Sanger, and made a presentation on California native mammals, reptiles, birds and amphibians, during the Zoo Talks discussion.
“Our goal is to get them familiar with things that live right here. Things in their own back yard,” said Lockwood, about the presentation she and Johnson made to the group of more than 35 children and adults, in the meeting room, of the Sanger Library.
Lockwood had bones, skulls and skins, of various animals, on hand, as she explained how you can determine what an animal eats by examining it’s skull and teeth. She reviewed what characteristics determine whether an animal is a reptile, amphibian, bird or mammal, as well as how to behave when encountering snakes, frogs, turtles and other wild California native species.
The Zoomobile visit, with the Zoo Talks presentation, are part of the Fresno Chaffee Zoo Offsite Education Program. According to the Fresno Chaffee Zoo website, the program offers educational animal experiences right in the classroom, or in this case, the library. There are three parts to the program. The Zoomobile, Zoopeteers and Zoo Talks.
The Zoomobile brings live animal presentations to a school or library. The presentations are designed to meet the California Science Standards for each grade level and include a selection of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and insects. There are a variety of presentations available, which include themes like Animal Attire, Desert Oasis, Living the Night Life and Wild California. There is even an opportunity to customize your Zoomobile visit.
Zoopeteers is a an animal puppet show for children.
Zoo Talks, like the one presented at the Sanger Library, are not only designed to inform children, but also engage and involve the kids in the presentation. At the end of the program, Lockwood introduced the audience to a live Burrowing Owl named Mac, who is five years old.
Allison Ramirez, a home-schooled student, said she was happy she came to the library and would like to see more programs like the Zoomobile come to the Sanger Library.
Lockwood also answered questions and said the Zoomobile visits classrooms and other libraries throughout the Valley.
For more information on the Zoomobile or the Offsite Education Programs, visit www.fresnochaffeezoo.org.
Watch KRL for more Sanger articles from Cheryl.