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Park Profile www.parkworld-online.com


Patch believes. “Through interaction, we achieve guest attention, which opens the mind to education, and can tangibly result in conservation. In addition to interactive exhibits, standard operations allow hourly Keeper Talks, highlighting species of the park. The accessibility to both animals and keepers, helps to develop an emotional connection to the park and our underlying mission of education. This has resulted in over $100,000 in gifts of support to conservation initiatives in the wild, funded by the park and our supporters.” There is also a drive-through zoo. “The drive-through is part of our mission of inclusion,” notes Patch. “It provides the opportunity for those concerned with the virus, those with mobility issues, and organizations not yet able to take outdoor field trips, to still have a source of animal exhibition in a safe setting. Without question, the walk-through zoo far outweighs the drive- through, but the drive-through certainly hits our mark for continued steps towards inclusion for all, and will continue for seasons to come!” According to Patch, the most popular attraction here is “Giraffes! April the Giraffe - 2017 - viral sensation!


Opening


up the zoological world, behind the scenes, and openly discussing matters of a facility of this nature with transparency


Opening up the window into the zoological world, behind the scenes, and openly discussing matters of a facility of this nature with transparency. Again, connecting the world with our keepers and animals, delivering educational opportunities.” It was in 2017 that Patch decided to live stream April the Giraffe as she gave birth. It was really out of necessity because he didn’t want to handle the flood of e-mails asking about April’s status. The result was a sensation as the live stream earned more than 232 million views and then qualified as the second most watched video in YouTube history. April is still popular because of her fame and very human friendly demeanor.


Heated comfort Finally, for an up-charge there are specific animal encounters with a sloth, penguins, and river otters. “Animal Encounters are extremely popular, providing guests a private experience with some of our species, and the keeper,” offers Patch. “Again, connecting people and animals in an up close, intimate experience, develops the appreciation, fosters the education, and generates conservation. Conservation efforts need not always be a financial gift of support, it is as simple as having conversations to spread awareness, one interaction at a time.”


The park houses a number of tropical animals that cannot normally survive the harsh New York State winters. “All animals of the park remain on site year- round,” Patch reports. “Winter housing provides heated, comfortable spaces for animals unable to acclimate to our New York winters. Many readers would be shocked to understand the true adaptability of animals, allowing them to enjoy the outdoors year-round, with always having the option of heated comfort.”


The park encourages conservation, achieved through education. Animal Adventure is federally licensed by the USDA. This ensures that the same standards of care met by of zoos and aquariums in the United States. The park staff includes zoologists, animal behaviorists, biologists, educators, and general caretakers. Looking ahead Patch reveals, “We continue to develop our Wilds of Asia area of the park, which will bring some exciting surprises in 2021 and 2022.”


AUTUMN PART 2 2020 31


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