Everyone Has a Story!
Docent, Memphis Zoo, Memphis, TN
“There’s nothing to see here.”
“Let’s keep going.”
“It’s just a stupid deer!”
These statements were overheard in our China Exhibit as visitors walked past the Pere David Deer.
But wait! It is not “just a stupid deer.”
First recognized by the Western world in 1865, the last surviving herd of Pere David Deer was located at a hunting park in China. However, a severe flood broke open the park, many deer escaped and were killed and eaten by starving peasants.
Before the last were killed, several deer had been transported to Europe. They were later reintroduced back into China, where some remain today.
Many animals and exhibits don’t seem glamorous and exciting as you casually stroll by.
- 45% of returning visitors had never stopped at the Pere David deer exhibit before. However, 94% stopped when I greeted them with a biofact.
- Of those groups that had seen the exhibit before (27 groups), only one remembered that the deer are rare. Many (67%) remembered that they were similar to antelope and had large antlers.
Everyone (and every animal) has a story, and everyone needs a storyteller.