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the zoo
Cognition of wildlife
02 December 2020

The group of young biologists of Kharkov Zoo is continuing to involve schoolchildren in the process of learning about wildlife. Close communication with some animals gives occasion for thinking about the influence of a man on nature and the animal world.

A working day of young naturalists consists of practical and theoretical (lecture) classes. Practical exercises include preparing food for animals and feeding them. A group of young naturalists, together with the leaders,  choose the animals to feed. Some guys get grain mixture, carrots, hay, water and go to feed the rabbits. Others are going to the winter garden to clean, feed and change the water for parrots and miniature chanterelles - fenechs. It is so interesting to pamper the Fenechs with delicacies: tropical cockroaches and beetle larvae ("mealworm" and zofobas). Among the guys there are those who want to take care of small rodents. For degus, needle mice, rats, gerbils and hamsters, they cut cucumbers, beets, pumpkins, carrots and apples, and prepared a mixture of oats, barley, corn, seeds and compressed feed. Food was poured into the cages in portions. Children gladly took the young animals in their arms and stroked them. Then it was the turn to feed the guinea pigs. Their diet is the same, but with the addition of white cabbage and hay. Guinea pig babies also did not go unnoticed. At the end of the practical lesson, the children had the opportunity to see and hold unusual insects - giant stick insects, especially the Australian "horror story".

Then, the young zoologists begin theoretical studies in the form of a lecture. This time the topic is “Large felines of the genus Panthera”. Yevgeny Kiosya told fascinatingly about lions, tigers, leopards, jaguars and snow leopards. The children were especially impressed by the story about the once vast habitat of these predators and how little is their living space now. We discussed with the guys spotted cats and the peculiarities of their color, which help to distinguish between different species. And finally, an exciting game - collecting puzzles from pictures of large cats. The guys actively and amicably collected puzzles, determined what kind of animal it was, and which cat belongs to the panther genus, and which one is not.

The day of young biologists has been very exciting and interesting.