January School Holiday Program a Success

Kanyana Newsletter March Autumn5During the scorching hot January days of 2015, Kanyana Wildlife’s School Holiday Program was run with brilliant success, and with over one hundred enrolments.

The five-day program saw children of all ages attend, from toddlers to teenagers, and sought to educate those young participants about our native Australian wildlife. Each day’s session ran from 10am until midday, with activities including stories, games, close encounters with our resident animals, a discovery centre activity, and arts and crafts, which children were welcome to take home as a souvenir of their day.

The holiday series started with the “Brilliant Birds” session, where children were delighted to meet Henry; the vivacious Forest Red- tailed Black Cockatoo who wanted to run the program all by himself! Children were also introduced to Widgee, our beautiful resident emu and Tawny, the tawny frogmouth that was so well camouflaged it took a few minutes for the children to even find where she was perched!

Although a subject of fear for many, Kanyana’s reptiles were also a hit with the children. Sylvester, our growing western carpet python kept everyone intrigued. On a smaller scale, children also got to meet Pogo, our western bearded dragon and Kora, one of Kanyana’s resident bobtails. During one activity in the Discovery Centre, children were able to examine x-rays of injured animals brought to Kanyana’s Wildlife Hospital for rehabilitation; including an x-ray of Kora!

Children were also introduced to our resident mammals. Apart from the many “awwws” emanating from the room, children learnt about the biology of those species, the threats they face, and how they came to be residents at Kanyana Widlife. The mammals were a particular hit with the grown-ups, and some children were lucky enough to receive a special gift from Aruba – cast quills that had been dropped on the floor! Some children chose to add their quills to the spiky clay echidnas they made.

The program continued to be a tremendous hit over its final two days. These sessions explored Australian wildlife overall and particular heroes of Kanyana Wildlife – animals that have had an interesting, and sometimes tough, start to their lives. Through the Discovery Centre activities, children learnt what items to include in their wildlife first aid car kit, and how they can help to reduce injuries to wildlife, making a positive contribution to the conservation of our unique Australian fauna.

Lara Osborne
Education Team volunteer