Four months went into developing a training plan with Paz, our blue and gold macaw, and Derrick Silva, an education coordinator here at Southwick’s Zoo. In these months, Derrick worked on building his relationship with Paz. It is important that they are both comfortable traveling off-site for our ZooMobiles programs

“I learned many lessons in patience,” said Derrick. 

However, it all paid off. On the big day of their first ZooMobile together Paz was a rock star ambassador for the elementary school they visited. Paz readily jumped on Derrick’s arm and into his crate when directed. 

“I could not be any prouder of this macaw and the mutual trust we’ve established,” said Derrick after their first ZooMobile trip together. This year Derrick lead 121 ZooMobiles, which surpasses the number we have held in previous years.

ZooMobiles is an exciting education program we offer here at Southwick’s Zoo. It involves an EARTH Ltd educator and our animal ambassadors traveling off-site to a school, library, or other facility. The educators give a presentation which cover a variety of topics including animal ecology, behavior, and conservation. 

Our most popular program is the Introduction to Animal Ecology, which includes an animal handler and presenter who provides a general introduction to the subject of ecology. In this program, we explore the different classifications of animals, the types of interactions between animal groups and their environment, and much more!

EARTH Ltd has 35 animal ambassadors who travel off-site for ZooMobiles. On the morning of the presentation, the EARTH educator chooses the animals based on where they’re visiting and which program they are teaching. For a 45 minute presentation, our ZooMobile team will bring five animals with them.

“The ZooMobile program is an exceptional educational experience where students and teachers get an up close and personal look at the many different animals brought on these trips,” said Peter Blasi, a middle school science teacher. “These learning opportunities are fine tuned to be age appropriate and to align with and reinforce our science curriculum.”

Bring all the fun of the zoo to you with a ZooMobile!