In 'wild' show, animals in spotlight at Henry Doorly Zoo -
Published Sunday, June 23, 2013 at 1:30 am / Updated at 11:02 pm
In 'wild' show, animals in spotlight at Henry Doorly Zoo

Teal the yellow-collared macaw shrieks.

Garbanzo the green acouchi eats treats.

Clover the North American porcupine climbs up on a stump to show off his lovely quills.

They are some of the stars of “The Wildlife Show,” which is being presented at 2 p.m. daily in the auditorium of the Wild Kingdom Pavilion at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium.

The family show is geared toward children, but adults also will learn a fact or two. And at 20 minutes, it's just long enough so no one gets bored or fidgety.

After a slideshow opening, Penelope, a scarlet macaw, makes a startling appearance. Then Teal, Garbanzo and Clover are joined by Lucille, a python, and Otis, an eastern screech owl, to teach kids about such subjects as conservation, the importance of snakes, scatter hoarding, camouflage, animal training and other animal facts.

Sometimes the lesson comes with a cute, educational phrase: “Eyes on the side, likes to hide. Eyes in front, likes to hunt.”

On a recent Friday afternoon, Traci Clevenger, senior keeper at the Wild Kingdom Pavilion, presented the show, assisted by keeper Jenny Ahrens. But the presentations rotate among keepers in the pavilion.

“The Wildlife Show,” organized by Mandi Krebs, interactive programs manager at the zoo, is a work in progress. Animals and stories may be added or parts of the presentation may be changed depending on the animals and the audiences.

During the show, kids are encouraged to shout out answers to questions the presenter asks. After the show, the kids are allowed up by the stage to ask questions and get closer to some of the animals.

In addition to “The Wildlife Show,” the zoo offers many other animal demonstrations or encounters for visitors who want to get a little closer to the animals they see. All animal demonstrations are weather- and staff-dependent.

Here are a few daily animal demonstrations (through Sept. 30):

Meet a bird keeper: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Garden of the Senses (warm weather only)

Antarctic penguin feeding: 10:30 a.m., Scott Aquarium

Aquarium enrichment/feeding: 11 a.m., Scott Aquarium

Bear feeding: 11 a.m., Durham's Bear Canyon

Animal discoveries: 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m., Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom Pavilion

Meet a reptile keeper: 11:30 a.m., Desert Dome

Lemur training: 1:30 p.m., Expedition Madagascar

Cat training: 2:30 p.m., Cat Complex

African wild dog training: 3 p.m., Red Barn Park

North American river otter training: 3:30 p.m., Red Barn Park

African penguin feeding: 3:30 p.m., Giraffe Complex (warm weather only)

Meet a bat keeper: 4 p.m., Lied Jungle

Aardvark dig: 2:15 p.m., Desert Dome Hillside (Saturdays only)

Bongo training: 2:30 p.m., Hoofstock Row (Wednesdays only)

Sea lion training: 10:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m., Sea Lion Pool (daily except Wednesday)

Shark feeding: 1:30 p.m. Wednesdays to Saturdays, Scott Aquarium

Contact the writer: Carol Bicak    |   402-444-1067

Carol writes about community news, local profiles, the arts and books. She also covers the zoo.

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