The zoo, at 11793 N. Micke Grove Road, sits on five acres and is home to more than 50 animal species.
“This is the first time we are visiting the Tracy library,” said Allison Meador, director of conservation education. “We are very excited to connect with this part of San Joaquin County. The zoo is looking to reach out to the local children. If we can connect with them they will become part of the zoo’s future.”
The group at the library saw an African pygmy hedgehog, an African bullfrog and a blue-tongued skink. The exhibit also included a stuffed seagull and tortoise.
“I’m here to see the reptiles,” 8-year-old Joseph Portocarrero said. “Snakes are my favorite. I’ve held one, and it was fun! I saw the sign on this and told my mom, ‘We have to go.’”
“I like all of it,” Alethea Kuhlmann, 10, said. “This event makes me want to go to the zoo and visit more animals. I think this also teaches other kids to love the wild and take care of animals and the rainforest.”
Conservation Classroom was the name of the program, which had an educational theme directed at habitats and conservation. Those in attendance learned about the natural environment and dietary needs of each of the visiting animals and heard about ways to conserve water and other resources.
“These kids will be the next step in taking on the concepts of conservation, ecology and our biological world,” said Kristy Benner, zoo education specialist. “Watching the sparkle in their eyes really brings it home.”
Micke Grove Zoo originally opened for operation in 1957. The zoo is open daily, except Christmas Day, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The park gate closes at 4:30 p.m. Admission is $5 per adult, age 14 and older, and $3 for children 3 to 13 years old. Children age 2 and younger can enter free. For more information, call 331-2010 or visit www.mgzoo.com.
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