Student Voice

Moorpark zoo held a Halloween themed weekend for the community to learn further about conservation

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Parents check out the different booths in the zoo while children eagerly carry their bags looking for more candy. Photo credit: Shannon Holst

Parents check out the different booths in the zoo while children eagerly carry their bags looking for more candy. Photo credit: Shannon Holst

Parents check out the different booths in the zoo while children eagerly carry their bags looking for more candy. Photo credit: Shannon Holst

By Nikolas Gigena

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America’s Teaching Zoo and the Moorpark students enrolled in its Exotic Animal Training Managment program, EATM, invited the community to experience Boo at the Zoo, a weekend of Halloween themed fun.

Guests were invited to partake in multiple Halloween themed shows, animal exhibits, face painting, educational booths, as well as games for children.

Children who show up wearing a Halloween costume where given a BINGO card, where they would embark on a scavenger hunt, which led them to EATM students spread throughout the zoo. For each square filled children were rewarded with candy and once all the squares were filled out, they were directed to the Kids Fun Zone to collect their prize.

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Children in costumes, accompanied by their parents, take a break in the shade of some trees in the Kids Fun Zone. Photo credit: Shannon Holst

This event was not only a great way for guests to celebrate Halloween with their families or loved ones, but it was also a very educational experience for all that attend. The animal shows helped children and adults learn more about exotic animals, while being presented in a festive and light-hearted manner.

“This event gives people of all ages the opportunity to learn more about the animals and how to help conserve our environment and wildlife, while also seeing animals that they wouldn’t normally see,” Jessica Solis 22-year-old Moorpark EATM student.

Not only does this event help educate the community about the animals, but it also draws attention to some of the conservation work that the zoo has accomplished.

“We do this event to change the perception people have about zoos, showing them how awesome these animals are, and the importance they have in the wild and in captivity with around the clock care, in hopes to educate future conservationists,” said theatre and EATM program student Elias O., who played Scar the Lion in one of the Halloween themed shows.

Guests also learn through the educational stands set up throughout the event by the EATM students, such as the Reptile Station. At these stations, artifacts from the animals were displayed in order to educate attendees in a more intimate setting.

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EATM program student Clayton L. showcasing some artifacts behind the 'Reptile station'. Photo credit: Nikolas Gigena

Those who attended the event left learning something new about the animals while enjoying a festive day on the weekend before Halloween. It’s important to attend and support events held by local zoos, such as Americas Teaching Zoo.

“It draws attention to the importance of conservation, and this event helps educate the public further about the animals as well as the EATM program,” said Moorpark EATM program student Kyle G.

Make sure to attend America’s Teaching Zoo next time they hold an event, such as the December festive event Snow Days, or any weekend from 11a.m.-5p.m.

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