Allison and Jack the Chinchilla
Judy the bearded dragon
Buddy the double-yellow-headed Amazon parrot
The education department from the Kansas City Zoo came to visit, and they brought four different animals for us to learn about. We saw a mossy tree frog named “Ping” that normally lives in the Vietnam jungle. These frogs look like they have moss all over their backs, which makes them masters of disguise.
Next we met “Jack” the chinchilla. Chinchillas only have one baby at a time, are nocturnal and hide by blending in with rocks. They are a member of the rodent family, which means that their teeth never stop growing and they eat plants and vegetables. Chinchillas can never get wet, and their fur is so thick and soft that they can’t die from hypothermia.
We then got to meet “Judy,” a bearded dragon who lives in the Australian desert. They tend to live by themselves. Judy has no teeth but, instead she has a boney ridge where teeth would normally be located that she uses to grind her food up. She eats lettuce, vegetables and crickets, but requires no water to drink because she gets what she needs from her food.
The final animal we saw was “Buddy” the double yellow headed Amazon parrot. His beak is so strong that he can bite through a broom handle or your finger, so we were not allowed to touch him! He does not really talk, but instead mimics the sounds that he hears. In the jungle, all birds look alike to each other — so the sound that they make is what they use to identify one another. Buddy was capable of other noises too, but he got nervous in front of everyone and refused to speak.
We also got to touch the hides of a zebra and a tiger. If you were to shave off all the hair on a zebra, it would be solid black in color – unlike that of a tiger, which is striped.
We are looking forward to warmer weather here in Kansas City so we can make a trip to the zoo. They even have a golf kart tour!
by Jill Hershley
Life Enrichment Coordinator
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