Ústí nad Labem Zoo has joined the EAZA – IUCN SSC Southeast Asia Campaign, with various schemes underway focusing not only on the zoo visitor, but also on students of diverse types of schools.
While some of the efforts are already well-established activities, subject to change based on the theme of the respective campaign, e.g. project days for primary school students on the occasion of the World Earth Day or competitive activities during spring breaks, others are of brand new and original design, so it is worth recalling at least three of them, one by one.
A story was produced for nursery schools about Saola the Princess, introducing, through a simple form, the reasons for what is threatening Southeast Asia (i.e. logging, trade-driven hunting and the expanding palm oil plantations), with the children subsequently creating in groups model forests containing animals, all such products then put on display in the Exotarium House.
From January to September 2012, Czech Radio North listeners can learn more about one of the campaign subjects every last day of the month through a series entitled “A Chance for Southeast Asia” and a “Know Who I Am” competition. Following the guidance, they can try to identify an animal species from Ústí Zoo that is covered by the campaign.
A unique activity was created for fans of the increasingly popular geocaching (Geocaching is a free real-world outdoor treasure hunt. Players try to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, using a smartphone or GPS and can then share their experiences online), with a special campaign cache created and located at the zoo in a truly original shelter. To qualify for obtaining GPS coordinates, the seeker is required to reply several questions based on the zoo’s website, all the text and accompanying information relating to the EAZA campaign and the palm oil issue. In addition to this “Mystery Cache”, five “Travel Bugs”, or special trackable items, have been inserted into the geocache, three of these (two sadly classified as lost) now gradually being moved to their destination, Alpenzoo Innsbruck, the venue of the 28th annual meeting of EAZA. The Travel Bugs are to be officially collected from their target encoded GC1HDXX by the conference participants representing Ústí nad Labem.