22 years of immersive zoology

LANSING—”What does endangered mean?”

The hands darted up among the Red Cedar Elementary students visiting Potter Park Zoo. Jill Garnett, enrichment coordinator for the BIG Zoo Lesson, called on a student seated before her.

“Endangered means there’s not many left,” one answered.

“And what does it mean when there’s none left?” Garnett asked.

Another student, too excited to wait to be called on, yelled out: “Extinct!”

Some students’ social graces may have rusted during the pandemic, while Potter Park’s beloved Big Zoo Lesson was on hiatus. The program, where students spend a week learning at the zoo, returned last fall. For many students it’s both an introduction to animal science and their first field trip in two years, maybe ever.

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