Zoo Keeping at TIGS

March 9, 2023  
Deputy Head of Senior School - Mrs Naomi Sullivan

Nestled in our Science rooms are a range of fascinating creatures including lizards, snakes and insects, all of which require time and care to ensure they are fed, watered and that they have a clean home to live in. Under the guidance of one of our senior Science teachers, Mr Parsons, our Zoo Keepers work to provide this important care.

A few of our Year 8 students have provided an insight into the important work they do in this co-curricular group to keep the animals safe and healthy. Here’s what Sophie, Jo, Maggie, and Tyra have to say about Zoo Keeping:

What happens in Zoo Keeping? What’s it all about?

“In Zoo Keeping, we care for the classroom animals by feeding them, cleaning their cages and providing them with sunlight from outside. We also learn about the animals and how to properly care for them”. — Sophie Placek

“We go into the classroom and care for the animals. We do this by cleaning the inside of their tanks, taking out old food and also cleaning and dusting the outside of their tanks and giving them fresh food and water. After all that, we get to take them outside for sunlight. Each week, one or two people get to make their food too! This includes kale slaw (without sauce) with protein powder and berries”. — Johanna Hernandez

What are some of the animals that you care for?

“We take care of two shingleback lizards, stick insects and a praying mantis, a snake (called William Snakespeare), a bearded dragon, two blue tongue lizards and also fish. Each week we rotate which ones we have, so we look after different ones each week”. — Johanna Hernandez

What’s one new and/or interesting thing you have learnt in Zoo Keeping?

“I have learnt that Bearded Dragons have amazing vision and hearing”. — Tyra Grace

“I have learnt about different species of animals and how to properly care for them all”. —Sophie Placek

“I have learnt how to properly take care of the animals and how to clean their tanks”. — Maggie Mison

“I have learnt a lot about the animals we care for. One thing in particular, is that the shingleback lizard’s tail looks just like their head, to confuse predators into attacking their tail instead of their head. Their tails are also used for fat storage”. — Johanna Hernandez

Has there been anything that you have found challenging in Zoo Keeping?

“It has been challenging overcoming my fear of holding the stick insects, because they are very delicate and can break easily”. — Maggie Mison

“Some challenges are checking the animals. We need to do this to make sure they are healthy, but it can be hard to see anything out of the ordinary. We manage this by trying to remember certain features of the animal so we can check if they have changed”. — Johanna Hernandez

“One thing that I have found challenging is learning how to care for the animals properly and make sure that I am safe and they are safe”. — Sophie Placek



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