What an incredible first day!  Click on the links below to find out more about our adventure!  





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We wrote in our journals for one hour today.  Check some of the amazing observations we made...


"A little mouse is in the cage of a white handed gibbon.  He is on a rope hanging on the rock.  He is scratching his head.  He is shaking the food.  He found a mouse.  They are under a rock.  They can climb on a rock.  The black white handed gibbon is a girl.  A white handed gibbon has stronger hands than us.  He is moving everywhere.  They are an ape.  They have a circle around their face.  Their names are Sely and Tunka."  By Madison


"The meerkat is standing on its hind legs to look around for danger.  Meerkats have black on their tails.  Meerkats have linish dots on their back that make them look a lot like leopards." by Lucas


"The order of a meerkat is called a carnivora.  The size of a meerkat is up to 61 cm. long.  The range of a meerkat is Southern Africa.  The habitat of a meerkat is the dry and sandy plains.  A meerkat's diet is small mammals, reptiles, birds, eggs, insects, roots, and various fruits and vegetables.  Meerkats have up to 30 members in their family.  Meerkats move like a baby because they crawl.  meerkats are not afraid of heights.  Meerkats can stand on their hind legs.  Meerkats are very smart.  Meerkats sleep in a pile.  Meerkats ' predators are birds.  Meerkats look for danger like a prairie dog." By Mikala


"This is a meerkat.  He is scared of us.  They keep going in their holes.  They are so quiet.  He looks all around us.  He looks up to the roof.  He is trying to get out.  He is looking to his side.  They stand on their hind legs like my prairie dog.  They have a black tip on their tail.  They have long claws.  They are small.  They are playing tag together.  How can they eat?  Do they chew on bark?  How can they hide from their predators?  Do meerkats hunt for food?  How many are in the world?  do they eat flowers?"  By Cara 


"I think that meerkats are smart because they hide even if its not a predator.  I also think that he's smart because they build such strong houses.  I never knew that they slept in a heap.  They have very long claws."  By Dylan


"Warthogs take mud baths.  A warthog's diet changes with the weather.  Warthogs like mud.  Warthogs sharpen their tusks on a rock on the ground.  Warthogs fart.  Warthogs are fussy.  There is a bossy on in the pack." by Chris  


"Warthogs push mud with its nose.  females have hair.  Males have no fur.  the wart is under its tusk.  Its diet changes by the weather.  Their tail has fur at the end of the tail.  Male tusks are big.  Female tusks are small.  They make burrows."  By Riley


"The warthog is very lazy.  The warthogs have work.  The warthogs have their warts under their eyes.  The warthogs use their tusks to scrape bark.  The warthogs like the mud.  The warthog has hair.  The warthogs have skinny tails.  The warthog likes to play with trees.  Warthogs like to scratch their selves on trees.  The warthogs scare me because they have a long stare.  Warthogs like to stretch.  Warthogs wish their tail to get flies away.  Warthogs have hair on the end of their tail.   Warthogs are the colour of black.  Warthogs live in different places.  I do not know what kinds of places but I am making a guess, maybe in the vine forests and the woods.  Today when the warthog was laying down steam was coming off of him.  sometimes the warthog just stands still.  Warthogs kiss each other.  The warthogs are similar to pigs.  The warthog eats wood and pine needles.  They like to eat leaves.  Warthogs have tusks.  Warthogs like to sleep."  By Nicole


The warthog was shaking the mud.  There are two.  They have two tusks.  They have fur on their back.  They went somewhere.  It is walking around.  Here is what its tail looks like.  Its similar to a horse. They have fur on its ear."  By Kristian









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Our endangered animal safari...

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Today we learned all about the endangered species at the Calgary zoo in our amazing Endangered Species Safari.  We found out that there are many endangered species at the zoo.  Sixteen animals are a part of the Species Survival Plan.  Animals are bred with careful consideration.   Some animals stay at the zoo, but most are eventually moved to other zoos or reintroduced into the wild.   We learned a lot about the reasons that many animals are becoming endangered.  We also learned that we have an important role in conservation. Today we also did our first observations of animals.  Each group chose a different animal to observe.  We sketched, wrote in our journals, and thought carefully about the animals and how they fit in their community.  We will be sketching and writing about the same animal every day this week.  We can hardly wait until tomorrow!  The Tom Baines classroom we are using at the zoo is incredible!  There is a Tiger Salamander named Waldo and we even have a pane of glass separating us from two amazing Sloth Bears!  What an amazing first day!








"The boy is eating a piece of lettuce.  The has long sharp teeth.  They are not the same as us.  So they got feeding tubes and we don't.  He does not have hair on his ears.  The white handed gibbon likes shaking his head."  by Christian


"The Tamarins love to run around by trees.  Cotton-top Tamarin have very long tails.  I think the tails are used for balancing on trees.  When the Tamarin stay still they wrap their tail up in a ball and put it under his chest.  The Tamarin are extremely endangered.  The Tamarin have large back legs to jump tree to tree.  There are approximately four times as many cotton-top Tamarin in captivity as in the wild.  they have long fingers to grab on the trees."  By Jeni


"Cotton-top Tamarin just curled their tail up and now he or she is sitting on it.  and now the tail is like a big funny thing.  Now he is looking around the place.  The other one just pooped when the other one was just about to lift up his tail.  Luckily he didn't lift up the tail of the other one because he would of got poop on his head or her head.  One of them is running on the branch.  One is on top of this bucket kind of.  Now they're just sitting around.  Now they're both jumping around the whole place.  Now they're in a kind of little house.  The back legs are longer than the front legs because when they jump they land on their back legs.  Now they're grooming each other.  They like sitting in the sun a lot.  Their fingers have very very sharp claws like the back legs.  The tail is very very long.  When you look at them they look very, very cute and fuzzy." by Brooke


"Right now the males are on to make it look like the home they live in. Now the female is eating lettuce.  At the top of the enclosure there is something to swing on.  In the enclosure they paint the walls green so it looks like the rain forest.  The air in the enclosure isn't the same air that is out here so they don't get sick.  The white Handed Gibbon picked up a piece of lettuce and he didn't like it so he put it back on the ground."  By Emily


"right now a mouse is bothering him.  He's on a rope relaxing and looking at the sun.  He's looking at me.  He found a mouse.  He is climbing on a yellow rock.  he's scratching his head.  He is a brownish orange colour.  The female when I took a dring he stared at me.  The female is black and it is endangered.  He is good at climbing.  He has a white ring around his face.  He shares the food.  He has lots of logs in his habitat.  Their fingers are very big.  Tinka is eating some green lettuce.  He has huge teeth.  He is scratching his foot.  He likes to entertain us.  they're so cute.  I love you guys.  I love Gibbons.  They eat lettuce."  By Rowan


" I am doing Marmosets.  They used their tail to balance.  They groom the tail and the legs."  By Kaylene


"This is how they groom the other one.  They pick their fur and eat the lice.  Marmosets are greyish orange.  Marmosets can climb upside down.  The Marmosets walk on four legs.  Marmosets like to cuddle.  It seems like marmosets will never stop moving.  I think that the boy is on top."  By Sayer





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Designing and creating a model of a gorilla enclosure!

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The amazing gorilla troop at the Calgary Zoo!

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Waldo the Tiger Salamander

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Writing and sketching in our journals!


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The amazing construction happening at the zoo!  Destination Africa is well on its way!  It will be opening in January 2003!

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Our "mystery" visitor... a Mexican Red-knee Tarantula!  How cool!




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It was another incredible day!  We started our day off learning all about Gorillas with two zoo docents.  We talked about their food, habitat, family, characteristics, and the amazing troop right here at the Calgary Zoo.  We had an opportunity to look at some real gorilla food, and we even built a model of an excellent gorilla enclosure.  Everyone really enjoyed the visit we had with the troop in the Primate building.  We learned all about their enclosure, how they enrich the animals, and how the animals interact together.  Today we also learned more about the Tiger Salamander in the classroom.  Judy tried to feed her a little mouse, but she decided she wasn't very hungry today.  Oh well!  We still learned a lot about their diet, where they live, and interesting facts about amphibian life cycles and characteristics.  We also had an opportunity to observe our animal today.  We spent an hour writing and drawing in our journals.  Miss Speight is so impressed with how we are improving!  We finished our day today with our mystery guest!  A tarantula visited us!  We learned all about their life span, what they eat, their eggs, and even about their skeleton!  All of us had the opportunity to touch her as well!  Phew!  What next?  Check back tomorrow to see!





"Fennec Foxes will not stay still except when they are asleep.  They are nocturnal.  They like to cuddle.  They have big ears.  The babies are called kits.  They do not like being touched.  The enclosure has lots of trees for the foxes to climb on.  They also need trees to make their beds on.  The Fennec Fox has sand in the middle of the enclosure.  They have rocks, hallow logs, and stumps etc. etc."  By Connor


"Meerkats have thirty members in their family.  They do the same thing that one meerkats do.  Eagles hunt meerkats.  There are ones that are out of their burrows.  Meerkats scratche themselves.  They eat grasshoppers, beetles, and spiders.  They also hunt mice, small lizards, and small snakes."  By Cara


"tigers eat chicken heads, other mammals and just plain meat.  Noone was allowed to touch the cages.  The trees in the enclosure had to be quite far away from the cage.  There was water because tigers like to swim."  By Lucas


"Today we got to watch the tigers get fed chicken heads.  It was cool.  The tigers teeth were huge so were their claws.  The tigers tried to scare Larry."  By Dylan


"The Pygmy Marmoset uses the tail to balance.  They groom the tail and the legs.  They eat grass.  They eat bugs." By Kaylene


"On fox is asleep.  His habitat is cool.  The two are having fun.  But one wants to go to sleep.  I do not know their names.  There ears are for hearing.  Right now Oop is on a rock.  He just jumped off the rock.  Cool.  Now one is fighting."  By Keegan




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Going to the tigers.

You mean we're going even closer than we are now?


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Watching the tigers get fed...up close and personal!  Wow!

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Writing about the amazing experience back at our amazing classroom!

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Our visit to the Australlian-Nocuturnal building..

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The Fennec Foxes... up close!  We are so lucky!

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Behind the scenes! 



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Sketching in the incredible conservatory...

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Our artists...

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Beautiful works of art!

Day three proved to be just as incredible as the last two days.  We really started off with a bang!  We met Larry, the zoo keeper at the  Siberian Tiger enclosure.  We were lucky enough to have the opportunity to enter a special enclosure where Larry fed the tigers chicken heads!  We were only a couple of feet away!  It was just incredible!  We could even hear the tigers purring!  It was hard to believe that any part of our day could even come close to this, but our voyage behind the scenes in the Australian-Nocturnal building sure came close!  We were given the opportunity to enter the kitchen where they prepare the food for the animals.  We watched a starfish get fed, looked at the different kinds of food that different animals eat, and even watched the three Fennec Foxes get fed some worms, (with the enclosure door open!)  We learned so much about the job of the zoo keeper and how the needs of the animal are met.  Our little artists then journeyed off to the Conservatory where we took out our sketch books and conte.  We captured the beauty of the rainforest, and the incredible desert in our amazing works of art!  They were just spectacular!  What can possibly happen next?  We can't believe that we still have two days left!





"Meerkats have about up to thirty members.  Meerkats hunt for their food.  Meerkats have long nails.  Meerkats have small noses.  Meerkats have whiskers.  Meerkats do every thing as a group.  Meerkats have stripes on their back.  Meerkats are very cute.  Meerkats are very social of all the mongooses.  Meerkats are like prairie dogs.  Meerkats are from South Africa.  They baby sit.  Meerkats do not get poisoned by scorpions so they can eat them.  It is hot and dry.  They love to dig.  They use scent marks for communication.  Meerkats have eyelashes." By Nicole


"The burrowing owl is looking out for danger.  The Burrowing owl can not fly.  A Burrowing owl scared a ... out of its enclosure.  Burrowing owl eyes are big.  The zoo feeds them chicks.  The Burrowing Owl lives with the Leopard Tortoise.  Burrowing owls have good camouflage.  Burrowing Owls live in the prairies."  By Chris


"Spider monkeys.  There is one new baby.  He is a boy.  The Spider monkeys have 11 or 12 family members." By Ciara


"Spider monkeys are very very playful.  spider monkey's tails are very, very, very, strong.  They grasp their food.  They are not playing when they are eating.  After they're done they are playful.  They are very funny.  If a spider monkey has a baby in their hands they will not play.  They will stay where they are and if there is a fight and only when there is a fight they will run away with their baby.  The baby spider monkey might go away to see the dad but if they do go out they will only go for a very short time because there might be very mean monkeys in the habitat."  By Dylan


"The Marmosets are running around.  The one Marmoset is trying to open the door.  He is using his hand in the door to open it and he got a piece of meat.  I think there home is the same as their other home...All of the Fennec Foxes are asleep and the blind one went to lay down.  He sat down and he sat on his sister and she bit his leg and he bit hers."  By Chloe





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Our tour of the Canadian Wilds...

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The tails of a White-tailed Deer and a Mule Deer...

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Antlers from the deer...

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A Great Horned Owl's talon...

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A Porcupine habitat...

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Horns from the Big Horn Sheep...

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The three Lynx kittens...

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Playing the food web game...

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Spider Monkeys...

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We had another great day!  Today we ventured off into the Canadian Wilds of the Calgary Zoo.  We had an opportunity to learn about the amazing wildlife, ecosystems, and diversity of our own Canadian Wilds.  W e even had a chance to look at some real biofacts.  We looked at the tails of deer, antlers, horns, and even talons!  Off we went to see one of Alberta's endangered animals, the Leopard frog.  We talked about how the frogs will be bred and released into the wild to help rebuild the Leopard frog population.  Things were a little chilly so we went back to the classroom and played an amazing Food Web game.  We all learned about how all living things, (and even some things that are not alive!) are interconnected with each other. When one element of the food chain is in trouble, it is felt by many. After a refreshing rest at the park, we chose a different animal to observe today and worked in our journals.  Miss Smith, Miss Speight and our amazing volunteers worked hard to paint all of the children's faces.  We had our own zoo in our classroom!  It was just an amazing day! Guess "Whooooooo's" coming to visit us tomorrow?










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"The female came up to the window for the first time that we have seen her up close. Celly likes to stay up high.  the female has grass in her hand.  Celly is sitting up on the ropes and eating grass.  In the enclosure Tunky always runs away when Red comes.  Tunky stole some of Celly's food.  White handed Gibbons are vegetarians.  Good bye friends." By Emily


"the way they are standing it looks like that they are going to hiss.  One is standing guard.  The zoo keeper put some food in a log.  One is sitting on a log with one food up and one foot down.  One of them tipped the bowl.  Two of them were standing guard.  Meerkats are some sort of mongoose.  Meerkats eat fruit and vegetables.  Meerkats look to the side."  By Cara


"Meerkats are very curious.  I love meerkats because they play hide-n-go seek.  They're so cute and play tag when you can't catch you and there so loveable.  And of course, when they play hide-n-go seek. we can never find them.  The meerkats have changed a lot since we first came because when we first came they were hiding and now they know us so they come out of the holes and climb up the logs.  There is practically always meerkats standing on guard.  Friday March 15 is the day we had to leave the Meerkats.  They must have known we had to leave because they looked so sad. and they weren't plying as much.  I wished I could stay the rest of the year but I knew that I'd be able to come again.  Meerkats are practically always active.  Except on days when something sad was happening.  Meerkats love the hot dry desert.   The names of the meerkats are Moustache Man, No Ears, Little John, and Lucky Lady.  They are all from Toronto and they were all born in July 13, 1997.  meerkats are black and brown.  Meerkats like logs, rocks, and cactus.  In the enclosure of the Meerkats there is three boys and one girl.  Meerkats are fast eaters.  Meerkats eat in the late morning in the meerkat enclosure the male meerkats were all born at the same time and the girl was born after."  By Mikala


"I think it is cool how they are scared over airplanes.  Because their enemies are birds of prey like owl, hawks, mostly flying animals but some animals that are predators to meerkats live on the ground like bigger animals.  All of the meerkats were born in 1997.  I will tell you the names of all the meerkats.  There is Mustache man, Little John, Lucky lad, and No Ears.  I like Meerkats because they are a lot like Prairie dogs and I really, really like Prairie dogs." By Lucas


"One of the mothers took some hay up to its house.  The way you can tell by a boy or a girl is by their breast.  One of the females are picking at the hay and taking the green pieces.  Two of the kids are play fighting.  Do you know why gorillas climb so much but they are called lowland Gorillas?  If you know the answer please write it down."  By Katie


"They have big ears.  They are playful.  They are small.  They like to run a lot.  They like to sleep a lot.  They like to climb a lot.  They have small noses.  They go to the washroom on the logs.  Their names are Tina and Ruth."  By Kaylene


"They balance good.  They like to sniff at the logs to smell for food.  fennec Foxes lift their food to get over stuff.  I like how they jump fast like cats.  In their enclosure the light is a little dark.  They scamper very well. They also eat like a cat."  By Stephanie


"The Warthogs are in the back room.  They have a scratcher wheel to scratch on.  One is out.  It is either Kibibi or Matata.  Two are out.  Now all three are out.  Boris has the most here.  One scratches itself on a rock.  A worker threw an apple in.  Boris is in the back room.  He was by the fence.  One is laying down.  One is standing beside it.  Now it is laying too beside it.  Boris is out.  I did not know.  Two are sleeping and one is awake.  Now each one is awake." By Kristian


" Tinka and Selly are playing.  Selly is eating lettuce.  Tinka is down by the water.  Red bends down to drink.  They have long arms." By Madison


"Right now Ziri is jumping around.  Right now Juwara is climbing.  One of the gorillas is taking hay to make a bed.  Some were play fighting.  The silver back is back." By Patrick


Tinka and Selly for the last time... Selly has more fur than Tinka.  I wonder why their underfur is red.  Can you find out why?  Red is Tinka's best friend.  They have big teeth." By Rowan

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Our last observations...

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How would you like to bathe this bathing beauty?  We did!

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Our pregnant Warthogs!

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Guess whoooo came to visit?  A Short-Eared Owl!

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Checking out the butterfly gardens...

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Saying farewell... with a story

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Taking the very cool bus home!

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Wow.. it is hard to believe our journey has come to an end!  We had the most amazing week.  Today was really special for everyone in our class.   Today we had our last observation.  It was really hard to say good bye to our little friends who we have been watching all week!  Our observations were amazing.  The children even had a thing or two to teach the teachers by the end of the day!  Today a short-eared owl also came to visit us.  It was an amazing experience having a live owl perching in front of us as we sat and learned together.  We learned all about their diet, their feathers, bones, how they digest their food, and the zoo's role in the conservation of owls.  We really enjoyed our presentation!  Some of us were also lucky enough to give the elephants a bath today!  The children also hand-fed the elephants and learned all about ways that the zoo keepers enrich the elephants.  Did you know that two of our elephants are artists? We had lunch and then spent the afternoon exploring parts of the zoo that we had not had a chance to see in our adventures.  We cleaned up our classroom and were fortunate enough to hear an amazing story about Mother Earth, read by Judy.

There were tears, cheers, and many smiles as we walked out those zoo classroom doors today.  We  will never forget the amazing experience that we had.  We can hardly wait to build on our learning in our very own classroom back at Parkdale School.  Check back here soon and often as we continue to explore the world of zoos and animals in our own classroom learning.


A special "thank you" to Judy and Gillian at the Chevron Zoo School, the staff and volunteers of the Calgary zoo, our student teacher Miss Smith, and to all of the parents and special volunteers from Parkdale Elementary who made this incredible journey possible.  We just couldn't have done it without you!


Miss Speight

P.S.  Don't forget to "tune in" to Mrs. Paul's class next week on their learning adventure at the Chevron Zoo School!




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All contents copyright 2002, C.B.E. All rights reserved.
Web Author: M. Speight

Last updated August 23, 2002


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