18.1.11: I am a Zookeeper program @ Zoo Negara

We joined a group of homeschoolers from the Kepong - Damansara area for an educational trip to Zoo Negara on a Tuesday morning at 9.00 am. It was a program by Zoo Negara called, "I am a Zookeeper".

I felt that the fees were quite expensive, as it was just a 2-hour programme and the children were still so young.

  • RM15 for children 3 years old and below 
  • RM25 for children above 3 years old 
  • RM20 for adults (with MyKad) 

For the kids, the fees were inclusive of the activities and tram, whereas the normal fees for the kids were only RM6 for children 3 - 12 years old.

We took a group photo before we started. Looking at the growing numbers, it looks like that there are more and more people homeschooling their children nowadays and we were happy to meet like-minded people.

All of us were asked to wash our hands first with soap, before we started the programme proper. After that there were some ice-breaking exercises with songs to start off the programme.

Ice-breaking exercises
Then we boarded the tram to get to the porpucine enclosure. E was insistent on sitting at the side. I was afraid that he would fall off the tram in the unlikely event that the tram stopped suddenly, so I held him tightly. 

The children were briefed on what to do. They were supposed to make a "goat" out of a cardboard box and later some pieces of meat would be wrapped inside a piece of banana leaf and put inside the goat. It would be the hyena's lunch.

Those that didn't want to participate in the goat-making activity could do a colouring activity - to colour a porcupine and stick it with toothpicks to represent the porcupine spines (quills). 

The kids had a go at preparing the meal for the porcupines. They inserted pieces of vegetables and fruits such as cabbage, carrots and bananas into the bamboo segments for the porcupines to eat. Didn't know porcupines were vegetarian, err, I mean herbivore.

Some children putting raw meat onto the banana leaf, which was later wrapped and put into the "goat".

The children looking at the porcupine spine (quill)
The porcupines enjoying their meals. All of them had their back towards us. Maybe they were shy. 
We then made our way to the hyena enclosure. The hyena came out to look at the "goat". At the beginning, it stayed away, sniffing at it suspiciously. Then it got curious and moved nearer to the "goat". At that point, my boys got tired, so we walked away from the place to find a bench to sit down and have some cookies. We didn't watch the hyena eating.

The hyena sniffing the "goat".
After that, we took a tram to the Multi-Animal show. 

S sitting at the side this time. I asked him to hold on tight to side railing. 
I was quite disappointed that the Multi-Animal show was not as good as the one I watched 2+ years ago in the same location. At that time, there was this white bird that was trained to fly across the spectators. That was impressive. There were more performances too. 

The seal show (below) was good though. 

The seal clapping and catching the rings
Balancing a ball and shooting right into the net
After the Multi-Animal show, we went to see the aquarium located just behind it. By then, the boys were tired and wanted to go back. It was a pity, as it was just 12.15 pm, and I had wanted to explore more of the zoo to maximise the fees that we paid. I felt a little disappointed as we hadn't really seen enough of the zoo. So, we made our way back to the car park.

They fell asleep in the car. When we arrived back home, S asked me to make a porcupine craft. So, I thought about it and we made a porcupine with clay. I thought of making the feet from clay, but S wanted to just insert the sticks into the porcupine as feet. What a good idea!

The unpainted clay porcupine

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