Friday, 6 April 2007, 2:53 pm
Big Cat Expert Opens Education Centre at Franklin Zoo
A new education centre at Franklin Zoo at the top of the Bombay Hills was opened by big cat expert Trent Barclay of Auckland Zoo. Barclay lead a large crowd of children and their parents on some wild encounters with Franklin Zoo’s exotic animals – even a once in a lifetime guided walk through Lion Park which is due to open in May.
Zoo director Helen Schofield says having Trent Barclay to share his “amazing knowledge” with the visiting families was a special treat.
“Trent is so well known through his television appearances and it was great to see the children especially listening to his big cat tales. It gave them a sense of why we need to continue learning all we can about all the animals we share our planet with, not just lions.”
Franklin Zoo has a strong focus on offering learning experiences outside the classroom. The upgraded education centre has enough room for 150 children seated, and will enhance the education experience.
The zoo regularly caters for school groups of up to 200 children.
“Our five lions are a major attraction,” says Schofield. “They are a fabulous group – one male and four females – and they display lots of natural behaviours during our daily wild encounters for visitors.”
Franklin Zoo is situated on Ridge Road, 4km from the motorway turn-off.