Wildly enthusiastic

Kids unleash their imaginations at Little Rock Zoo’s annual day camp

Posted: August 6, 2014 at 2:15 a.m.

Artem Apostolov (left) and Drew Corbusier check out Petri, an American kestrel held by volunteer docent Amanda Galiano, during Zoofari, a three-day day camp at the Little Rock Zoo.

A loud, meandering band of creatures was spotted running loose through the zoo recently. They dashed from place to place, trailed by zoo volunteers who attempted to herd them around the exhibits.

Little Rock Zoo docent Amanda Galiano shows Sadie, a red-tailed hawk.

They weren't zoo animals, however. They were 10-, 11- and 12-year-olds on safari, taking a walk on the wildlife side by participating in the Little Rock Zoo's annual Zoofari day camp.

The three-day camp was set up for three age groups -- 5 to 7, 8 and 9 and 10 to 12. The camps were held at the zoo throughout July. Zoofari participants followed zoo docents on a guided tour, enjoyed a refreshing watermelon break to help beat the heat of the day and took an up-close look at some of the zoo's birds of prey.

The animal and art camp is designed to encourage children to express their creativity by sculpting, drawing and painting their experiences as they discover the patterns in nature and the colors of the animals and birds. Using clay, feathers and other materials, the participants' colorful works ranged from strikingly accurate to fanciful.

But kids being kids, they also took a particular delight in running about, hanging out and making friends with the animals ... and each other.

Family on 08/06/2014