Aug 28: Tea-party Chimp

We’ve changed our minds about zoos should be over the past generation. Let’s visit Auckland Zoo to figure out what we’ve learned…

Written by      

Below are some talking points and activities to pass the time, all relating to today’s story.

Talking points

Discuss the ideas presented in the story with your family—at home or over video conferencing. Find ways to involve as many people as possible, especially those who you know are isolated by the lock-down.

  • What are your favourite parts of your local zoo? Do you have a favourite animal? What do you love about it? Has your favourite animal changed since you were younger? What feelings do you have when you are watching your favourite animal?
  • When you look at the top photo of the three chimps having a tea party in front of the audience, what do you think? Does anyone in your family remember going to see these chimps having their daily “tea party” at the Auckland Zoo—or perhaps riding on the elephant in the 1950s?
  • The tea party and elephant rides were stopped in the 1970s as people began to think differently about how we should treat captive animals. We began to feel we were exploiting animals. Do you agree that we should have stopped? Why or why not?
  • In the 1970s the chimps and other animals at the Auckland Zoo were given massive habitat changes. Instead of a small concrete enclosure they were given large, leafy enclosures. How might this have affected the chimp’s well-being? What has changed again since the 1970s—for example what do you think might be some of the new features of the new South East Asia primate enclosure that opened this year at Auckland Zoo?
  • Zoos are now places where visitors can learn about animals and the ecosystems they live in. They are also places where vulnerable species can be looked after so that wild populations are supported. If you’d like to learn more about zoos supporting conservation, this article is all about how a rare beetle species could have been saved from probable extinction by being bred at Auckland Zoo.

Activity: Make a baby rhino out of clay

A baby rhino has just been born at Auckland Zoo. Celebrate by making your own!

  1. Take a small amount of clay, either a shop-bought clay such as air-dry clay, or home-made salt-dough.
  2. Make a large potato shape for the body, a small one for the head, and four legs.
  3. Gently press the legs and head onto the body and shape it with your fingertips.
  4. Look at photos of the baby rhino to help you get the proportions right.
  5. Add ears, eyes and nostrils. Using the blunt end of a kebab stick is a good way to help with these details.
  6. Let your rhino dry and paint it if you want to.
  7. Make sure you give it a name!

Send us a picture of your baby rhino clay model!