17 April 2015

English Zoo Trip

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English Zoo Trip

For the April trip, the English class visited the Auckland zoo.  There were 12 students in the class from China and Korea, and everyone was looking forward to the day out.  We were lucky with the weather; it was a cloudy day, and not so hot outside.

We began trip out with a special education session.  The zoo instructor took the students into the auditorium, and gave a presentation on the special animals in the zoo.  She focussed on some NZ animals, including the kiwi and tuatara.  The tuatara is NZ’s most special animal; it’s a reptile like turtles, lizards and snakes, and crocodiles, but it’s much older than them, because they were common in the world before the dinosaurs.  In fact, it’ the only animal today with 3 eyes, although as the animal grows, skin covers the third eye.

 The Auckland zoo does not try to show every animal, but instead focuses on breeding a smaller number of special animals.  Since many of the students come from China, they all know about the Black and White Panda, but very few knew there is a Red Panda, and the zoo has been breeding these successfully for many years.  The Red Panda seemed very pleased to see us, because it came out and walked up and down right in front of us.

 The animal that most students wanted to see was the Giant Tortoise (turtle) from the Galapagos Islands.  They have seen small turtles, and did not believe there could be some turtles bigger than a big dog.   They were amazed!

 Actually, all the students loved the zoo.  We enjoyed each other’s company as much as the animals, and they all said the Auckland zoo was very beautiful and natural, and more like a garden than a typical zoo.  It was a great day!

 Graeme Hambly

(NZSE English Tutor)