Science Sunday - Endangered Animals

This week we took a mini-vacation out to the Shenandoah Valley. While most people would do some sort of geology (tons of caverns) or waterflow / nature study (waterfalls and the national park, we are often a bit different. We decided to study "Endangered Animals - What does that mean?" It worked really well since one of the big themes in our Parsha for the week is avoiding cruelty to animals.

This unique choice came about at the Wild Animal Safari. They have all sorts of animals from around the world but the signage is created differently or something. Despite our many trips to the zoo here the subject has never come up before. Yet here, she wanted to know each animal's 'status in the wild'
We talked about the difference between common, vulnerable and endangered while we were at the park. We also touched on why some animals become endangered. We followed this up later with two good books on the topic (Endangered Animals and The ABC's of Endangered Animals) which really helped show how important it is to protect all of HaShem's creatures.

We even got to feed an neat bird who while not endangered is vulnerable due to habitat loss. It is a special kind of parakeet from South America. They drink nectar rather than eat seeds the way we typically view birds eating. Hiranu was the bird whisperer and even attempted to feed four at one time. They would drink and drink and then shake their beaks to get clean (spraying bits of nectar). Froggy was not as brave as Hiranu but she did enjoy being close to them and watching them lick up the food.So with the "official" science lesson for the day over, we went on a tractor ride through the park and took a tour of large herbivorous mammals willing to eat the same food. It is not often you get to play tug of war with a camel and wrestle a bison in the same day. Hiranu got bit by an ostrich and proudly showed his battle scars to all who would look. The animals wanted all the food they could get and were not above taking it when it was not gifted quickly and thoroughly enough. The one animal we saw that we were not allowed to feed was the zebra. They were too mean to be fed safely. Given what the "nice" animals did, I was fine with staying away from the zebras. Still it was fun getting to pet the camel, play with the bison's tongue and stroke a mooses antler fuzz.


  1. Very neat - I didn't realize Zebras were so mean!

  2. I love feeding birds at the zoo. Sounds like you found a cool zoo to visit

  3. It looks like a very interesting place to visit. I like how they signed the status of each animal, and it is sad that we have so many endangered species nowadays.


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