Creation Kingdom Zoo launches educational video series, keeps outdoor exhibits open

Holly Viers • Mar 19, 2020 at 8:30 AM

GATE CITY — With schools closed across the region due to COVID-19, Creation Kingdom Zoo is offering a couple of ways to keep children — and their families — entertained.

On Wednesday, the zoo launched a new video series for youngsters, in which zoo staff will share educational videos each day focusing on some of the animals or projects at the zoo. For those who’d like to see the animals in person, the outdoor exhibits will remain open during regular hours.

“They need something to occupy them, and the best thing to occupy children with is educational things,” said Marc Bradley, zoo director. “And once they’re able to get out and about, there’s no comparison to meeting animals face-to-face.”

Video series

Bradley said he decided to start the video series for children who either can’t or choose not to leave their homes while out of school.

“For those that don’t have the ability to do some outdoor activities, this is a way that we can reach the kids and give them something they can engage with and learn from,” Bradley said.

Bradley said the prerecorded videos will be posted to the zoo’s Facebook page — www.facebook.com/thecreationkingdomzoo — at 1 p.m. or earlier each day. The three- to six-minute clips, led by Bradley or another zoo staff member, will cover a different topic each day, whether it’s an animal at the zoo or a conservation project that the zoo is involved with.

“It’s a way to not only educate folks that are not able to get out and about, but it’s also a way to kind of spread the conservation message of what exactly we do here at the zoo,” Bradley said. “So I think there’s a lot of flexibility to do not only animals but different projects that we’re involved in, like the West African Primate Conservation Action and things like that.”

Bradley added that the video series will continue until children return to school or until summer begins, whichever comes first.

At the zoo

Bradley said the outdoor areas of the zoo will stay open during the zoo’s regular hours of Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1-5 p.m.; the last tickets are sold at 4 p.m. each day. Zoo staff will be working every day as normal to serve visitors and feed the animals.

“The only thing that’s closed at the zoo is our indoor barn area,” Bradley said. “We’ve followed the guidelines and closed off, like a lot of zoos, the indoor area, but the outdoor areas are still open, and that’s the majority of the zoo.”

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