Student Voice

First annual Community Appreciation Day at America’s Teaching Zoo

Midori+Crafts+quality+hand-made+crafts%2C+one+of+the+booths+at+Community+Appreciation+Day+selling+handmade+items+such+as+jewelry%2C+hats%2C+and+other+accessories.+Photo+credit%3A+Nikolas+Gigena
Midori Crafts quality hand-made crafts, one of the booths at Community Appreciation Day selling handmade items such as jewelry, hats, and other accessories. Photo credit: Nikolas Gigena

Midori Crafts quality hand-made crafts, one of the booths at Community Appreciation Day selling handmade items such as jewelry, hats, and other accessories. Photo credit: Nikolas Gigena

Midori Crafts quality hand-made crafts, one of the booths at Community Appreciation Day selling handmade items such as jewelry, hats, and other accessories. Photo credit: Nikolas Gigena

By Nikolas Gigena

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America’s Teaching Zoo held its First Annual Community Appreciation Day, where all members of the community are allowed access to the Moorpark Zoo free of charge on the weekend of September 22-23. On these days guests got to experience all the animals in the zoo as well as face painting, vendor booths, food trucks, feeding demonstrations, and information about the animals by students in the EATM program as well as two live animal shows.

Crash The Rino and Molly Clark.jpeg

Crash the Rhino with Molly Clark next to a chalk board sign advertising the "zoovenirs"

This event was an educational and entertaining opportunity for any member of the community who has never visited America’s Teaching Zoo, or who was looking for a fun, family-friendly day where anyone who participates will have learned something by the time they leave.

America’s Teaching Zoo staff member Brenda Woodhouse said, “Both days have been equally busy, many people are here for their first time, many others haven’t been here in years. It’s a great opportunity for anybody to learn more about the zoo.” Every corner you turn, there is always something new to observe.

Throughout the day, students of the EATM program set up their own carts with artifacts such has skull replicas of hyenas and tigers, as well as ceramic paw prints from the tigers at different stages of their lives. A turtle shell and a piece of lion’s mane, shed skin of a snake as well as many more artifacts of the animals were on display to help inform the public about the animals.

This was a great learning experience for all who attended as EATM staff member Caroline Kaita, in charge of the ‘Lion Cart’ said, “I’m here to show more about big cats with these bio-facts, hopefully to teach someone something new.”

Aimee Dennis

Aimee Dennis, Member of the Student Voice as well as the EATM program, holding up a turtle shell on display on one of the educational carts. Photo credit: Nikolas Gigena

Anyone who attended was bound to have found something that interests them, since there are so many different animals to observe and plenty of activities for all to take part in. Each person has a different interest in animals whether it be the big cats, reptiles, monkeys, or birds, America’s Teaching Zoo has animals to entertain and educate all guests who attended.

Mackie Beninati, 21-year-old undecided major at Moorpark College student said, “I really enjoyed the big cats. Its always interesting seeing lions and tigers, but the Harris Hawk in the bird exhibit has to be my favorite animal.”

Mackie Beninati

Mackie Beninati, 21 year old Moorpark College student, in front of the baboon eating fruit. Photo credit: Nikolas Gigena

Overall, the First Annual Community Appreciation Day at America’s Teaching Zoo was an exciting and educational event to teach the community more about the zoo and the wildlife that students take care of. Make sure to catch next years Community Appreciation Day, since there is always something new to learn!

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