2nd Year JCSP Class 2 students visit Dublin Zoo

On Monday 29th of April, the 2nd Year JCSP Class 2 students got to visit Dublin Zoo in the Phoenix Park. We were brought to Dublin Zoo by the school bus and it was about an hour’s drive to Dublin Zoo but it never felt like one hour since the atmosphere on the bus was very lively and cheerful all the way through.
After walking around for a bit entering Dublin Zoo, we were finally greeted by our cheerful tour guide. She brought everyone into a room much like a classroom but with fascinating animal skulls lying on a marble desk. Splitting the students into groups she turned on a projector and we watched a presentation on the topic of
‘Sustainability’. She passionately explained to us about helping the Earth by making sure that we have sustainable resources in doing things like recycling and not to use things like plastic bottles but instead reusable bottles.

Fun Fact: Did You Know That it Takes 450+ Years For Plastic Bottles To Decompose! After introducing herself and
defining Sustainability (avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance) she let us do a few activities like: Discussing what we can do to help the environment; matching pictures eg: Deforestation with how severe we think that they affect the environment; matching cards on what we think
happens in a phones life cycle and finding symbols like Fairtrade on: jam jars, lotion bottles etc. All of this was very intriguing and it was very funny and ironic to see the teachers do some the activities with us.

When we were done discussing sustainability and completed our activities, our tour guide led us to the Ibis habitat. The Ibis is a bird that lives in cliffy and rocky areas in countries like Morocco, Turkey and Syria. Its long beak and black feathers has unfortunately made it a target for poachers making it critically endangered with less
than 500 in the wild and 1,000 in zoos. There are plans to reintroduce zoo bred birds into the wild.
We then walked over to the Red Panda habitat. Two red pandas were sleeping on the branches. Our tour guide told us that they are nocturnal and that the two red pandas were ready to mate. Next we stopped to look at the Red-Ruffed Lemurs. There were many of them and one of the lemurs swiftly leapt and climbed onto a
tree. We were told that when the lemurs fight with one another, the winner usually comes down to who is the smelliest.
Our last stop was to the orangutans! There is only one male orangutan in Dublin Zoo but it is very easy to distinguish a male orangutan from its female counterpart through its plump cheek pads and throat pouches. They were really entertaining to watch as every few seconds they would try to show off as well as their close relatives
the Chimpanzee by doing movie-like stunts on the trees making everyone in the nearby area laugh and take pictures.
When we said our farewell to our tour guide we had some free time to walk around the zoo. I walked around looking at the Lions and Giraffes in the African Savanna section with my friend. The atmosphere at the zoo was amazing at it really felt like you were among the animals in the wild. We had a brief visit to the gift shop where
we bought a few things like Plushies and Headbands. When our tummies started to rumble we knew that we had to snack on something so we went to a little food shop and bought a slushie there. Overall it was both a great fun, a fantastic day out and a good educational experience and I would be glad to do something like this again.

by Eir Olan