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Zoo2U part 2!!

Zoo2U part 2!!

Thursday 18th July 2019
Raphael Miller

This summer saw us welcome back the awesome team from Zoo 2 U and some of their lovely animals including an old friend from summer 2018, Woody the skunk! 😊

As well as being reunited with our stripy friend and being reminded that skunks are often nocturnal and actually hardly ever use their stinky defence mechanism unless they are really scared (Woody has only ever done it once, during a thunderstorm) we were also introduced to a few not so familiar faces.

The first was a Western Hognose snake! These beautiful snakes are quite small (don't worry they can't swallow you whole or anything like that!) growing up to about 1.2m max and are completely harmless. However, they do have some impressive skills because if they're threatened they can imitate their much more dangerous relative the rattlesnake by shaking their tail or flatten the skin around their head like a cobra! Failing that they can even roll onto their back and play dead so that they're hopefully left alone.

Next, we were introduced to a couple of cute little guinea pigs, a highly sociable animal which is why Zoo2U always keep them together in pairs at least. They just had to take extra care to make sure the snake was securely put away before the guinea pigs came out to meet us as they could have made a tasty meal!

After that came one of the most curious creatures we've ever seen - the giant African millipede. With an astonishing 400 legs, these little guys tickle as they crawl across your hands. Their shells are surprisingly smooth and much like a snake, you have to be sure to stroke them downwards not up as that can be quite painful for them. As a vital part of the ecosystem, millipedes live on the forest floor among the leaf litter and detritus recycling plant matter and keeping the forest healthy 😊

The last introduction was a feathered friend all the way from Australia, a blue-winged kookaburra! These stunning birds use their impressive beaks to scoop fish out of rivers and streams and can keep their heads perfectly still even when sitting on a moving branch, which makes them very effective hunters!

Thanks again to Zoo2U for such an amazing and informative visit, our students loved it and I'm sure our class of 2020 will be really looking forward to the next visit!