On Tuesday 5th and Wednesday 6th of July, Year 8 pupils warmly welcomed the Animals Interactive team to MACS. Pupils were able to hold and touch a variety of animals as they learned about their habitats, diets and features that help them survive. The first animals we were shown were the snakes, lizards and tortoises as they all belong to the reptile class of animals.  Holding the snakes felt different to how we anticipated them to feel, as they felt cold and rubbery rather than slimy as some assumed! We also noticed that they were very calm and gentle. 

We were fortunate to have the opportunity hold owls and a young Barn Owl chick using a protective glove as their talons are extremely sharp. We were amazed to find out that owls actually cannot turn their head all the way around! 

Pupils were able to feed rabbits and guinea pigs as they learnt about their role in the ecosystem.  Pupils were very excited to see the mob of meerkats as they were extremely cute, lively and cheeky. The meerkats enjoyed eating and exploring the room, as we observed their social structures.  Another exciting moment for us at MACS was cuddling a skunk and realising our perception of the animal was very different to the reality or how they are portrayed in films.
All the students loved the Sliver Fox, an animal that was native to the UK but has sadly been hunted to the point of near-extinction.  During the visit, we could see that he was in the midst of changes to his coat to adjust to the change in season. 

Among the feedback from pupils, one said “It was so amazing to see and to hold the snakes, and the owls, I was cool to hold animals I thought I was afraid of”, another commented “It was such a fun day, and something not many people would ever get to do”. Some of our Sixth Form Biology students also commented “The session and seeing the animals was very interesting, as we were handling the animals we were able to ask questions about their behaviours” and also that “The session was amazing. Definitely good for teaching children and raising awareness of endangered animals, I really recommend it”.

What was really fantastic is how well the pupils of MACS conducted themselves and the brilliant feedback from the staff at Animals Interactive:

We had so much fun, learned so much and for some of us we overcame fears to be able to touch animals we thought we were scared of. We can’t wait to see the animals again and are hoping to welcome Animals Interactive back to MACS in the future! A big ‘thank you’ to Miss Hunter (Science) for organising the event. You can see some photos from the event in the gallery below: