Dear Zoo

Year 11 Investigating Science students felt privileged to attend an ‘observation of animals’ workshop at Taronga Zoo Science Institute on Friday 13 March, 2020.

Mr Peter Wilson, SGCS Science Teacher said of the excursion:

“Students heard about the wonderful work of Dr Alicia Burns, Behavioural Biologist, and Dr John Martin-Terrestrial, Ecologist. Real scientists in the field!

Our students learnt of methods scientists use to track endangered Australian animals in order to study patterns and behaviours, like where they live, move and the effects of ubanisation on their habitats.

 A highlight for the students was making observations of the elephants’ behavior. The elephants were particular active especially the baby calf playing in the mud.

Students also enjoyed an up-close and personal, private seal show where zoo-keepers explained in detail how observations of animals’ normal behaviour assisted in maintaining their well-being and even allow zoo-keepers to provide the animal with regular medical check-ups.

The Citizen Science app was also introduced to students. The app enables members of the public to assist in monitoring animal movements. By citing a tag on an animal, such as a cockatoo, and reporting the citing via the app, scientists can use this data to assist their research.

The only limitation of the excursion was time as our students would have loved to stay longer at the Zoo.”