Outreach: Bring the Zoo to You
Zoomobile programs are temporarily suspended. Please see our Virtual Field Trips: Distance Learning options.
People of all ages enjoy the unique hands-on learning experience offered by the Zoomobile Program. Traveling to schools and community centers across Western New York, the Zoomobile uses live animal representatives, touchable biofacts and props to teach about a wide variety of topics. Whether a group is studying a specific topic or just seeking to learn more about wildlife, the Zoomobile has a program to fit anyone’s needs.
The following programs travel via the Zoomobile and require mileage fees of $.53/mile, round trip.
Zoo “Tails”: Storytelling with our favorite animal friends (Ages PreK – K)
[30 minute presentations]
(For multiple same-day presentations, the prices reflect a 10% discount off of your total)
This program combines the exciting world of reading with a visit from an animal featured in that story. After reading an animal tale together, we’ll learn a little more about that character by exploring biofacts and meeting them live! We would be happy to use a story of your choosing or make suggestions based on the animals available.
Special Events: Large events [2 hour maximum]
The Buffalo Zoomobile can be booked for picnics, block parties, fairs, carnivals, lawn fetes, conventions, and other functions. The program consists of 4-6 live animals and many touchable biofacts (turtle shells, animal skins/pelts, etc.). Many of the animals are able to be touched as well.
The following programs can be adapted to ages 1st grade and older, unless otherwise specified.
I Love Nature: An introduction to our natural world [60 minutes] (Ages Pre-K -1st grade)
Young children are introduced to the wonders of nature and encouraged to safely and respectfully explore the outdoors. Basic concepts of natural interrelationships and their own role in nature are discussed. One half of the program is spent outdoors exploring the environment, after which their “discoveries” are discussed indoors. This program also includes one live animal ambassador.
Classic Zoomobile: Animal class adaptations and characteristics [90 minutes for 3 stations]
Students learn adaptations and characteristics of three different classes of animals (mammals, birds, and reptiles). Environmental and conservation topics are also discussed in relation to the animal classes. Hands-on experience is vital to the success of this program; therefore, small class size is preferred. Students are split into three groups that rotate among the stations. There is one live animal ambassador from each animal class and assorted biofacts to enhance this learning experience. One or two other animal class stations (arthropods, amphibians) can be added for an additional fee and extra 30 minute running time.
Biomes of the World: Major biomes of the world [90 minutes for 3 stations]
Students learn the characteristics of major global biomes. Students will be split into three groups that rotate among three stations (Rainforest/Deciduous Forest, Marine/Freshwater, Desert/Grassland). Each 30-minute station focuses on the flora, fauna, climate and location of two world biomes, using biofacts and one live animal to illustrate unique environmental niches. One or two other biome stations (Tundra/Taiga, Mountain/Urban) may be added for an additional fee and extra 30 minute running time.
Endangered Species: Features vital and endangered species [60 minutes]
This program defines what threatened, endangered, extirpated and extinct species are. It also shows a cross-section of animals on the endangered species list, the reasons they are in danger, and preventative measures that have arisen over the years to help save these wonderful creatures. A look at the illegal pet trade, animal hunting/exploitation for merchandise, and habitat destruction delivers a solemn message of the plight of these animals, while a look into the protective laws and conservation/preservation efforts of zoos and nature preserves offer hope for the future. A final look will be given to individual solutions, group awareness, education, and recycling.
Tropical Treasures: Rainforest discovery [60 minutes]
This program imparts knowledge about tropical rain forests using definitions, descriptions, audience participation, and live animal presentations. Topics covered during the presentation include conservation, preservation, bio-diversity and ways people can help save the rain forests.
A Touch of Class: A brief review of the top five animal classes. [60 minutes]
Investigate and learn about birds, mammals, reptiles, arthropods, and amphibians. Characteristics of each class will be discussed using biofacts and live animal representatives. This program is a shortened alternative to the Classic Zoomobile, and therefore only basic characteristics are covered.
World Safari: Take a “trip” to the seven different continents of the world. [60 minutes]
Combine interesting animal facts with geographic locations for a global understanding of the animal kingdom. Live animal representatives from many continents will help to illustrate the world’s colorful and exotic bio-diversity.
Predator vs. Prey: Adaptations and characteristics of predator and prey animals [60 minutes]
This program helps students distinguish between predator and prey animals. Explore the interdependence between these species, showing why each needs the other to survive. Food chains and food webs are discussed. For the older audience the effect of pesticides on a food chain comes into play. Live animals will be used to visualize relationships.
Magnificent Mammals: Adaptations and characteristics of mammals [60 minutes]
Experience a fun-filled program devoted entirely to our fellow mammals (including marsupials and monotremes). Learn what it takes to be classified as a mammal, what adaptations help them survive, what they eat, where they live and how they move about and why. Hands-on interaction with live mammals and biofacts make this program an excellent learning opportunity.
Excellent Ectotherms: Adaptations and characteristics of “cold-blooded” animals. [60 minutes]
Enter a world of reptiles, amphibians and arthropods. This program is crawling with snakes, toads, spiders and much more. Explore the existence of our world’s most primitive living terrestrial animals through hands-on interaction with biofacts and live animals.
Winged Wonders: Adaptations and characteristics of birds. [60 minutes]
From chickens to owls, learn about the amazing adaptations of our feathered friends. Natural histories, predator-prey interactions, and the ability of flight will be discussed. While witnessing some of nature’s most secretive birds along with some common everyday species, students learn the value of avian life in today’s world.
Customized: Choose your own topic [60 minutes]
Are you a teacher interested in relating a specific wildlife/nature topic to a Zoomobile visit? Are you an organization or club that wants to learn more, but don’t see the topic you want listed above? Please call us at 995-6123 to discuss your goal, and together we will try to build a program to your specifications.
Sensory Safari: Exploring the animal world through our senses [60 minutes]
This hands-on program is especially designed for senior facilities as well as centers for the physically and mentally disabled. The focus of this program is sensory enrichment via touch, sight, and sound with both exotic and domestic animals.
Senior Safari: How the Buffalo Zoo has changed throughout our lifetime [60 minutes]
This interactive program is geared toward seniors in retirement communities, senior centers and well-elderly facilities. A history of the Buffalo Zoo (and zoos in general), little known animal facts, and zoo memories are presented in a fun game-like atmosphere. This program includes one live animal ambassador.
Digest This!: Understanding the importance of human and animal digestion [60 minutes]
The first half of this interactive program explores different animal diets, both in the wild and captivity. Students will learn and compare the basics of their own digestive system, including the importance of healthy food choices. The second half explains the end result of digestion: scat. Students may be surprised to learn how much scientists can learn from an animal’s output, and how we’ve used scat throughout history!
Ecosystem Architects: How the needs of living things affect exhibit design [multi-session] (Grades 5-8)
This unforgettable exhibit design program is an intensive inquiry-based program designed to teach science concepts and skills related to standardized science test topics including adaptations, needs of living things, biomes, and ecosystems, in a unique way. Program includes teacher training, two outreach sessions in the classroom, and one full day at the zoo. Cost: $1275