Archive for Friday, July 12, 2013

KC Zoo animals coming to Tonganoxie

July 12, 2013

Local kids who want to see exotic animals won’t have to head to the Kansas City Zoo—the zoo is bringing three animals to the Tonganoxie Public Library next Thursday.

“I thought this was pretty dang awesome,” Kelly Fann, the library’s director, said. “Animals. Everyone wants to see animals.”

Kelly Martin, school and outreach coordinator for the zoo, said three “animal ambassadors” would be joining zoo officials for the Tonganoxie visit, which is part of the zoo’s Zoo to You program. She said there the animals were likely to include a reptile, a mammal and an invertebrate or amphibian.

“Some might be ones that dig,” Martin said. “Some might have features that would make them not diggers.”

Zoo officials will tell youths about the various animals and incorporate the library’s summer reading theme, “Dig into Reading.”

Martin said demand for the Zoo to You program has “kind of skyrocketed in the last year,” building on a steady increase in recent years. “It’s kind of going with the downturn in the economy. People aren’t leaving as much.”

In addition, limited budgets are forcing schools to cut back on field trips, she said, so a visit from animals can be an alternative. At the same time, Martin said, attendance numbers at the zoo have been growing.

Fann said the library had great success last year with a visit from Liwnood-based Operation Wildlife. She said Christina Weber, who heads children’s programming for the library, suggested the Zoo to You visit.

Next week’s program will start at 10:30 a.m. at the library’s community room. Fann said the library has space for 40 youths at the event, and roughly 30 have signed up. To register, stop by the library at Third and Bury streets or call Weber at the library, 913-845-3281.

Fann said the library will look to bring the Zoo to You program back again if interest is strong, possibly as soon as next month. Each visit costs the library $225 and is funded through donations from the Friends of the Library and Tonganoxie Recreation Commission, Fann said.

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