A local summer camp is teaching kids about wildlife.

You might be hearing sounds of zoo animals, but it’s actually local kids mimicking animal sounds while engaging in activities that help them learn about team challenges at the Zoo Idaho Summer Camp.

Nine year old Toby Harris says he’s attended several of these camps.

“it’s so awesome because it’s a zoo and we get to learn about animals and we get to do activities and we get to play games and we get to do scavenger hunts and all sorts of fun stuff,” says Toby Harris, Camp Participant.

11 year old Gabe Eberle says it’s his first time at camp, but it won’t be his last time.

He says the camp has inspired him to want to work at the zoo someday.

“We get to learn about all kinds of different animals that are native to Idaho and that’s kind of what the zoo’s about, about a bunch of the animals that are native to Idaho and that live here and we see turkey vulchers in the pond and lots of Marmots around here,” says Gabe Eberle, Camp Participant.

Zoo Idaho instructors say they do three week long camps a year and each camp has a different theme.  This week’s theme is ‘Animal Mechanics.’

“So we’re going to look at the physiology and anatomy of our animals and how they have adaptations that help them be like our Pronghorn are the fastest land animal in America or our hawks can dive up to 65 miles per hour when they’re hunting, so we’re going to kind of investigate how each animal is a little bit different and how that helps them to survive the wild,” says Rachael Shearouse, Zoo Idaho Educator.

She says their mission is to educate kids about native wildlife and conservation efforts that are happening in our region, through fun activities and classroom style learning.

“So we want our students to understand in how our bodies work, so we’re going to start with our herd animals today.  They’re going to learn the names of bones, how muscles work,” says Shearouse.

“I think it’s much better than school,” says Gabe Eberle.

The zoo educator says about 20 to 25 kids participate in the camp each year.

At their next camp they will be investigating bats.

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