Humane Education 101
Kim Sneden, Curator of Education, Detroit Zoological Society
The Detroit Zoo traces its origins to animals abandoned by a bankrupt circus in 1883. Citizens responded to these desperate creatures and generously gave food and money to provide for their care. The Zoological Society was created on the foundation of helping animals in need.
More recently, the Detroit Zoo has become home to animals that have been rescued from various unfortunate circumstances, including “pet” lions and bears from circuses. As a result of our efforts, the Madeleine Berman Academy for Humane Education was created with the vision of “helping people help animals.” The Academy (at the Detroit Zoo) offers a broad range of programs, including outreach presentations, kids clubs, and theatrical productions. Through participation in formal and informal experiences, audiences understand the need to treat other living creatures with respect, empathy, and gentleness.
This presentation will introduce the audience to the many animals that have been rescued and now reside at the Detroit Zoo. We’ll explore some of the issues facing animals today including exploitation in entertainment.
Audiences will also learn about some of our humane education programming, including City Critters, an outreach presentation that introduces children to animals that share their neighborhoods both wild and domestic. Children discover that conservation begins in their own backyard as they learn to peacefully co-exist (or avoid) with these creatures.
I will use PowerPoint to deliver this presentation (I will bring a CD; I will need a laptop and projector). I will also provide copies of the City Critters script for individuals that may wish to utilize it at their zoos.