When I was a kid, one of my favorite animal encounters happened at a zoo in Indiana.
I was living in Ohio at the time, and we went to Indiana to visit some family members. All of us went to the zoo, there were dolphins at the zoo, and I loved marine life. I always have since I was young, and I was really excited to see the dolphin show.
We were in the stadium, and we were watching the show, and then they had some dolphins slide up onto the platform around their pool. A trainer said that they were going to choose some people from the audience to come down and get to touch the dolphins. They were looking around and choosing people from the audience. I had my hand up, and I was one of the people that they chose.
I got to go down the steps and up to the dolphin, and the trainer told me I could put my hand on the dolphin’s back. It didn’t feel anything like what I expected. It kind of felt like wet rubber, which was really interesting and different to me, and I was really excited to experience touching a dolphin for the very first time.
I think that it’s really exciting for kids to have the opportunity to touch animals because it involves their emotions. They might feel awe or they might be a little scared, but they can conquer that by being brave and touching animals that they wouldn’t want to normally touch.
Animal encounters can also increase their compassion for animals and the environment.
Animal counters can be found at zoos, aquariums, and nature centers. They can be informal, such as if one of the employees or volunteers is holding an animal in the exhibit area, and when you’re walking by, you get to touch the animal. It can be more formal where you pay extra money and get a behind-the-scenes animal encounter. With these, you get to interact with animals in ways that you wouldn’t normally get to do as a visitor to the zoo or aquarium.
Animal encounters are safer ways to interact with animals then touching ones in the wild. The ones in the wild are not usually used to humans, and if they, are they can still be dangerous. Animals in a zoo or aquarium can also be dangerous, but this is a more controlled environment. The animals are used to being around people and they have keepers there who can understand what their actions mean, and they can separate people from the animals if they can see that the encounter is not going well.
I encourage you to find some animal encounters for your kids so that they can experience animals up close and get excited about all the animals that they can see in the zoo or aquarium and especially in their yard.
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