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Thread: What would you like to learn at the zoo?

  1. #1
    Grasspupper
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    Default What would you like to learn at the zoo?

    I am in a two year program to become a zookeeper. In one of my classes we do "rotations" at the zoo. This semester I am in Herps. During our rotations, we have to give "meet the keeper" talks. My problem is that, because we are only students, we can only give these talks in front of our classmates and teachers. I see these people every day, so I already know their knowledge levels. For my first talk this semester, I plan on talking about the our Panamanian Golden Frogs, which are thought to be extinct in the wild. My question to is what would you want to hear about the species and about conservation efforts?

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    Moderator tgampper's Avatar
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    Default Re: What would you like to learn at the zoo?

    Conservation of the Kihansi spray toad, Nectophrynoides asperginis, would be an interesting topic. They are being CB at Toledo, Detroit and Omaha Zoos. I used to work as an amphibian keeper at the Omaha Zoo. Being a zookeeper is tougher than it looks Wish you the best!
    Terry Gampper
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    Adrian Forsyth

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    Default Re: What would you like to learn at the zoo?

    i always enjoy the meet the keeper talks at our zoo. my kids are surprised when i walk away saying something like "i did not know that some frogs can jump 40 times their body length" (just an example) but my question to you is this, in reality, wouldn't you plan out your talk to speak to all levels of knowledge? granted, you could get real technical with a group of fellow students, or a bunch of us frog folk. but what about the father and his 10 year old son that are sitting front row? remember, you would actually be talking to people who, like me, don't know a darned thing......lol that's who i would gear the talk and the info therein towards

    btw, if you are serious about zookeeping in the herp dept (saw that in another of your posts), then get over to dendroboard and get with a guy named Ed. that's his screen name "Ed". he's a big wig in the herp dept at the Philly Zoo, and from what i am told, one of the top guys in the dart world. i'm sure he can give you much insight into every aspect of your rotation
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    100+ Post Member Sasha's Avatar
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    Default Re: What would you like to learn at the zoo?

    Quote Originally Posted by deranged chipmunk View Post
    wouldn't you plan out your talk to speak to all levels of knowledge? granted, you could get real technical with a group of fellow students, or a bunch of us frog folk. but what about the father and his 10 year old son that are sitting front row? remember, you would actually be talking to people who, like me, don't know a darned thing......lol that's who i would gear the talk and the info therein towards

    I agree Bill. The zoo is filled with lots of visitors that know nothing. I was once at the zoo and a teenage girl seriously said "oh look it's a brown zebra, I mean a giraffe" and it was a freaking BEAR! I wanted to scream and then punch her parents in the head! With that said people at the zoo visiting don't want technical details that go on and on. Things that I would want to know:


    Why is it gold and black? Is it a sort of camouflage?
    What does it eat?
    Where in Panama does it live?
    Is it endangered? Why is it endangered and what is being done to protect it.
    Is it poisonous?
    How big does it get?
    Can you keep it as a pet?
    How'd this zoo get them?
    Why should I care about these frogs?

    If I was a 10 year old girl still that didn't like frogs, I'd be interested in hearing little tidbits about them. I read they are sort of like a national symbol in Panama like our bald eagle. I also thought it was cute and interesting that they socialize by making noise and by waving their hand.

    I imagine it's going to be hard for you to do this in front of your classmates and teachers without getting so technical. Hopefully they keep in mind who the final core audience is going to be and they keep their speeches simple too.
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  6. #5
    Grasspupper
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    Thank you so much! This great info, thank you!

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    Grasspupper
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    Sasha, thanks for your insight! These were the sort of questions I was looking for.

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    100+ Post Member Sasha's Avatar
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    Default Re: What would you like to learn at the zoo?

    No problem, glad to help!
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    Default Re: What would you like to learn at the zoo?

    I only wish to have that kind of talks at Calgary zoo, nobody here seems to care about reptiles/frogs
    Save one animal and it doesn't change the world, but it surely changes the world for that one animal!

  10. #9
    Grasspupper
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    Really?? My husbands family is in lethbridge, if I couldn't get any internships here in northern NY, my teacher suggest Calgary. I've noticed that some keepers would rather do their job and have nothing to do with the public. At first, I was afraid of these talks, but I started getting excited about telling others about animals I care about. Sometimes I get too excited and loose my breath. I have considered requesting education for my next rotation.

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    Default Re: What would you like to learn at the zoo?

    only talks that you can get here is at the shows or expos, but not much about frogs. I haven't been in a zoo in a while, but i remember that even reptiles and frogs collection was very poor, the zookeeper talks are about tigers/giraffes/etc, perhaps if you are to come here you can change that. I usually do herps talks in our house :lol: or my kids school, they are all getting exited when i bring one of the snakes and I'm happy to see kids getting over stereotype of snakes as a scary slimy creature.
    Save one animal and it doesn't change the world, but it surely changes the world for that one animal!

  12. #11
    Grasspupper
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    That is awesome! I thought it would be nice to do something that with frogs and spiders. I have a (learned) fear of spiders that I'm trying to get over. We have a tarantula at the zoo that I have been desensitizing myself to. I want to get over that fear and teach kids that they are cool and should be respected instead of killed.

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