Welcome to the jungle!
It’s a zoo on campus at Mabel Hoggard Elementary School, a local Magnet school.
Animals are housed outside in a goat pen, garden, and greenhouse; and indoors in the animal lab.
One hundred and fifty animals from 58 different different species, from a slow-strolling pot-bellied pig to a hamster taking care of her nine tiny babies.
A few of the animals, including a tortoise named Pop Tart, and a pig named Cinammon actually roam the campus, bringing smiles and lifting spirits every passing period.
This is a student-supported zoo and the kids in Zookeeper’s Club are fully on-board!
Fourth-Grader Emely San Juan said, “I used to not know a lot about animals, but now I do, and I’m comfortable with holding the snakes and the hamsters and the guinea pigs.”
8 News NOW found all the students in Zookeeper’s Club affectionately caring for animals, as they learn about them.
Their Life Science Strategist Teacher, and Leader of Zookeeper’s Club, Kim Law, added, “They learn quite a bit about the different species of animals, and how they relate to the environment, and the garden.”
These relationships the students build with the animals leads some to dreams of doing this as a career.
A fifth-grader, Kameelah Burns-Coleman described her plan, “In first grade, when I saw this room, I saw that these animals will actually need help if they get hurt. I decided that I would actually want to be a Veterinarian because I really like animals.”
It’s not all playing and petting.
These kids are working hard in the less glamourous areas of caring for wild life: cleaning out cages, re-filling food and water, and picking up after the animals. Law added, “It’s a lot of responsibility because I can’t be there for 150 animals, and they are responsible, and they know that they have to do their jobs.”
From building habitats to practicing animal care – so much of what students do is directly connected to their Life Science class.
Hoggard is the first Magnet school in Las Vegas.
8 News NOW dropped by to feature this cool program to highlight National Magnet School Month, and discovered an educational program with a true bond created between the students and animals.
Their teacher summed it up, “My favorite part is seeing the kids react to the animals, and when I hear them talk about the animals, and what they know it gives me chills that they’re really learning, and really excited by them.”