Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Siamang Gibbons

What better way to learn about world geography, than to visit the local zoo!  We are immersing ourselves in world geography this school year.  Now before you say, "What does the zoo and gibbons have to do with world geography?", it has everything to do with it!  I don't want the kiddos to just look at maps and memorize countries and major cities, waterways, oceans, etc.  I want them to get to know what types of animals, people, products, plants, etc. come from different areas of the world.  So, really we are studying so much more than world geography.  We are studying all of the world and all of the school topics during this amazing year or two or more if it takes.

Our local zoo is conducting Tell Me About Them Tuesdays.  They have designated one animal to feature every Tuesday for the school year.  To kick off the series, they featured the Siamang Gibbon.  Their Siamang Gibbon pair just had a baby boy in March.  He just went on display and we wanted to see him, plus learn about the Siamang Gibbons!

It was a small group that gathered to learn about the gibbons.  We were able to ask questions and learn quite a bit about these wonderful animals.  Oscar was born at our zoo twenty one years ago.  He is George's dad.  The lady giving the talk, told us how good a father Oscar is to George.  We even got to witness him caring for little George.  Ella is George's mom.  She is a first time mother and is very protective of little George.  She wouldn't let us see him at first. However, after five minutes of studying us, she finally brought him up to the front of the exhibit and proudly showed him to us.  Little George is a handful!  He wants to climb and eat apples, just like mom and dad.  Mom wouldn't let him have an apple, so in typical child fashion, he reached out his arms and called for Dad.  Dad came over and took him.  He thought he would get an apple from Dad, but Oscar didn't let him have one either.  Poor George, Mom and Dad were on the same page when it came to apples.

We learned that Siamang Gibbons' vocalizations can be heard for over two miles in the forest.  They have just as many teeth as a human!  The gibbons are given enrichment activities to keep them mentally stimulated in captivity.  The zoo keepers place their food treats in different things, so they have to 'hunt' for their treats.  The children enjoyed watching the gibbons 'hunt' for their food. 

What a fun way to learn!