Student Voice

America’s teaching zoo jump starts the holiday season with a weekend of exotic animals and snow

During+one+of+their+mid-day+shows%2C+one+of+the+resident+hedgehog+at+the+Moorpark+zoo+is+introduced+to+guest.+Photo+credit%3A+Tessa+Sever
Back to Article
Back to Article

America’s teaching zoo jump starts the holiday season with a weekend of exotic animals and snow

During one of their mid-day shows, one of the resident hedgehog at the Moorpark zoo is introduced to guest. Photo credit: Tessa Sever

During one of their mid-day shows, one of the resident hedgehog at the Moorpark zoo is introduced to guest. Photo credit: Tessa Sever

During one of their mid-day shows, one of the resident hedgehog at the Moorpark zoo is introduced to guest. Photo credit: Tessa Sever

During one of their mid-day shows, one of the resident hedgehog at the Moorpark zoo is introduced to guest. Photo credit: Tessa Sever

By Tessa Sever

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






As the wind blew atop the hill at the Moorpark College zoo, kids scattered around from animal to animal, face painting, crafts, bubbles — and to snow.

This was the scene from this past weekend at Snow Days at Moorpark College zoo, an annual event put on by the Exotic Animal Training and Management Program.

The snow was trucked in and placed in the middle of the zoo grounds between the group of food trucks and the animals. The EATM students set up a stand for free hot chocolate to warm up after playing in the snow.

Snow Days is just one of the many events the zoo puts on throughout the year. Events such as this help to bring attention to the EATM zoo and its purpose to help care for their animals, educate the public and prepare students for a career in training and managing exotic animals.

Snow and kids.jpg

Fresh snow was trucked in for both days of the event for guest to enjoy. Photo credit: Tessa Sever

While the activities and animals entertained the adults and children, with an extra fee of $7, guests could experience the “Behind the Scenes” tour for more information about the zoo.

The EATM students also brought out some of the birds, like the macaw and cockatoo, and walked around with them for people to get a closer look. Some of the EATM students also went in and fed the lions to show the patrons their teeth.

Maccaw.jpg

Eatm students took some of their smaller animals out of their enclosure to introduce them to guests. Photo credit: Tessa Sever

Housing around 150 animals in the mostly student-run teaching zoo is a demanding course, said first-year EATM student Jansen Young.

“[First years] don’t actually work interactively with the animals yet,” Young said. “We are doing a lot of the cleaning or diet-making, more of the heavy lifting, to prove we have enough restraint to work with animals next year.”

Established in 1974 with only one animal Kiska the wolf, the zoo started adding more animals and the “Lower Compound” was created. Now it overlooks the football stadium. The EATM Compound has been moved since its growth to a 5-acre lot that overlooks all of Moorpark College.

The zoo is constantly trying to expand the animal enclosures to make the lives of their animals as close to what it would be like for them in the wild, Young said. Especially when it comes to their large carnivores.

“We have a big play yard in back and the large [carnivores] are switched out, they each have like a day of the week basically,” Young said. “We’re trying to expand the zoo and get the donations so the large carnivores don’t have to do that switch anymore and they’ll just have their own naturalistic enclosure.”

decoration.jpg

To enhance the feel of a winter wonderland, in a California winter, the zoo was decked out in festive decor. Photo credit: Tessa Sever

Aside from attending EATM events, like Snow Days, sponsoring an animal is a way for people to have a chance to visit and interact on a more personal level with the animals. Sponsorships help with the cost of feeding and caring for a particular animal at the zoo.

To learn about events in the new year, donating to the zoo’s expansion plans or sponsoring an animals call (805) 378-1441 or visit their website.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




*