Monday, 29 July 2013


Week 1 Why do we keep animals in zoos?

Today we read the story "Elwyn's Dream: saving the Takahe" by Ali Foster. It is the story of the man who started Pukaha Mt Bruce Wildlife Centre.We decided he was a very responsible, caring and brave man. He had a great idea to save the takahe and took a long time planning his idea so that it would be successful. He wanted to save the takahe from becoming extinct so he created a safe place for the takahe to live and breed. We thought that maybe that's why zoos and other types of animal parks keep animals too. We wondered if these animals must be safer than in their natural habitat where predators could hunt them while they are asleep. For example the kiwi is nocturnal so we think that while it is sleeping during the day predators could sneak up behind it and hurt or kill it. We also think that zoos and other types of animal parks keep animals safe from escaping and hurting us. We know that we can go and see lots of animals in one place that we wouldn't normally get to see like elephants and giraffes. If an animal becomes extinct we will never get to see it ever again so it is important to save animals.

We have started to do some research about zoos and other wildlife animal parks to find any other reasons they might keep animals.  If you have any questions or comments that might help us with our thinking please post a comment below for us to explore next week...

Week 2  connecting ideas about captivity
Today we warmed up our brains first ready for learning. We had to try and capture an escaped animal using a raincoat, a balloon and some bubble gum. Those pesky animals didn't stand a chance with our imaginations! Bubble gum was used to blow a 'humungous' bubble around the animals, or even to blow sticky bubbles at them to trap them. Balloons were used to tie to the animal to fly it back to captivity or put an animal such as a frog in water to take back safely.  Raincoats were worn to protect us from splashing water and scratches from scared animals. How would you have used these three items to capture an escaped animal?
We then wrote ideas about captivity in different hexagon shapes. We glued the hexagon sides wherever we could connect the ideas. Our brains were so warmed up we could even glue hexagons connecting two and three sides together, connecting multiple ideas. Everyone decided their brains hurt by the end of our session today because we had done so much thinking!
It was great to read and discuss the comments (see below). Everyone agreed that we certainly liked being able to see animals in zoos and thought it was a lot safer than going to their natural habitat.  We too were sad though that the animals don't have their natural environment. We are very excited that Palmerston North is going to get a special place to nurse sick and injured birds. We will be very lucky to have a place nearby to visit and help. Keep those comments coming to help us think in different ways.

Week 3 Weighing up the pros and cons of captivity
Just like our bodies, our brains are responding to warm ups and we are getting more creative, more imaginative with each problem scenario. They are helping us to generate more ideas and think in alternate ways about our captivity concept.  Today we tried to work out possible explanations for animals outside the cages and people inside cages at a zoo! We had some great ideas to this imaginary scenario and we are learning to build on one another's ideas.
To wrap up our captivity concept we each completed a PMI about whether animals should be kept in captivity. We listed all the plus (P) reasons, all the  minus (M), and any interesting (I) reasons. By considering all viewpoints we were able to make our own judgments about whether animals should be kept in captivity. Although we had different, well thought-out opinions consideration of animal's needs and protection were common amongst everyone. It has been great to work together and learn from each other!


  1. Hi Suzanne! What a colourful and exciting Blog page you all have! Patrick and I have been talking about animals in captivity and the ones which are hard to keep or can't be kept in a zoo. I remember when I was little going to see a whale at an aquarium, and feeling a bit sad that it had such a little pool to live it's life out in instead of the ocean. But it was also the only whale I had ever seen for myself, and I was really excited to be able to get close to something that big and beautiful. I wonder if we might learn to care more for animals we have had the chance to see for ourselves than those we only get to see in books or on TV ... what do you guys think?

    Tania Jobson, Patrick's Mum

  2. Katelyn's parents, Dianne and Riley4 August 2013 at 03:13

    You are all doing some very interesting research. Katelyn, remember when we went to Wellington Zoo over the holidays and saw some birds being fed by the vet as they had broken bones and were being nursed back to health so when they returned to the wild they would survive. Palmerston North is going to get a Wildlife Base at the Esplanade so injured and sick birds and animals will stay there until they are well. We will be able to visit and see endangered birds and animals in the future. That will be exciting.

  3. Katelyn's parents, Dianne and Riley7 August 2013 at 02:27

    Goodness, you have some really creative ways to try and capture an escaped animal. One idea we had was to use the bubble gum as a bait for the animals to sniff out and then you could have the raincoat on the ground for the animal to sit in. The balloons might pop and give the animals a fright.