WDY Youth Group meets the ‘Little Zoo’
‘On Friday 5th October, we met at St Clare’s Parish Hall and we had a special guest. Gemma from ‘Little Zoo To You’ came in to see us and deliver a wonderful session all about animals. The session included facts and information about animals and how we can help them. We also had the pleasure of holding the creatures and getting a closer look at them!
The first animal we met was a cockroach. We learnt that cockroaches are one of the cleanest animals on earth but we all assume they are dirty because they go to the places where we put rubbish. Cockroaches can eat almost everything apart from a few metals and the final thing we learnt was that they don’t have any eyes so therefore they can’t see but they have super-sensitive antennae and also, they are extremely fast and if they were the size of us, they would probably outrun us!
The next creature we met was Millie the millipede. Millie, along with other millipedes, eats any fallen leaves from the trees and then the leaves come out when she gets rid of her waste materials as a fertiliser. This fertiliser helps the trees around her to grow which results in more leaves for Millie to eat and then the cycle repeats, a bit like a life cycle. Another interesting fact we learnt about Millie is that she has over 100 legs and when we held her, there was no other way to describe the feel of her legs apart from “peculiar” and “like a toothbrush” was a very common description!
Prince Charming the Tree Frog was the third animal that we met. Prince Charming’s natural habitat is the rainforest and therefore, is adapted for hot climates. We learnt that if Prince Charming was in the rainforest, (s)he would spend most of his time in a tree but (s)he has the ability to camouflage. The colours go from a dark, dark brown to a really bright green and as Prince Charming has no other way to defend him(her)self, this camouflage is the only protection for this little frog. We also learnt a secret about Prince Charming, he is actually a she but this wasn’t identified until she was around five years old and Gemma realised she didn’t croak like a male would by that age. Deforestation has a big impact on Tree Frogs and therefore, they need looking after!
The fourth animal we met was an animal that runs like the wind and is so fast it could even beat a hare in a race! Gizmo is a Hermann’s tortoise and like Prince Charming, she has the name of a boy but was only discovered to be a girl later after she had been named Gizmo. This was determined by Gizmo’s tail. If Gizmo was a male, her tail would be longer but her tail was shorter which meant she was female. Gizmo will grow up to only be around the size of a dinner plate so she won’t be huge! We were reminded of the difference between a tortoise and a turtle but we found out that Gizmo does enjoy a bath and she is given a bath to keep her hydrated and make sure she is getting enough water to drink. We were also told that people think that a tortoise can’t feel you when you touch its’ shell but that is not the case. A tortoise can feel you when you touch its’ shell because that is part of its body and a tortoises spine is attached to the other side of the shell.
The final animal we met was Freddy. Freddy is a ferret who was actually brought along for his cuteness! Ferrets are carnivores which means they only eat meat. Male ferrets are known are known as hobs and female ferrets are called jills. In the wild, hobs and jills mate around March or April and after 35 to 45 days, the jill will give birth to around six babies. These babies are called kits and they stay in their burrows for around 42 days and when the autumn comes, the ferrets can leave their mother. At around one year old, they become mature and independent enough to have their own litter. In captivity, ferrets can live for around 12 years.
Overall, this evening was wonderful and we would love to do it again! We found out many interesting facts and learnt things that we probably wouldn’t have known before. From the whole Youth Group, we would like to say a huge thank you to Gemma and the ‘Little Zoo’ for coming to deliver a lovely session and giving us facts and information to take away with us!’