Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!

OP-C students enjoy the sea lion show

On Friday, OP-C second graders visited the Kansas City Zoo to learn about the habitats and biology of lions, tigers, and bears — oh my! — as well as a wide variety of other animals.

Parents met in the classrooms to get their list of students to chaperone and a scavenger hunt with questions to get kids talking about the animals. The kids all left the school with their teachers on buses at 8:30 a.m. and met the chaperoning parents at the zoo. Kids each got an entry ticket and a one-way tram ride, funded by PTA donations from our OP-C families.

The first stop after entering the zoo was the Kid Zone, where chaperons and students watched otters dive through the water and a polar bear ambling about on land. Then they enjoyed a sea lion show, where they saw three sea lions showing off their dancing skills. The next stop for many students was the elephant exhibit– where they learned elephants are mammals and have hair on their tails.

Hungry cheetahs eye some OP-C students

Students walked through Africa, checking out antelope, tortoises, giraffes, hippos, and rhinos. At the cheetah exhibit, three hungry-looking cheetahs paced directly in front of the crowd, looking ready to pounce. There was an “Animal Chat” starting, and a zoo employee answered questions about the cheetahs.

“Why do they look like they want to eat us?” one adult joked.

“Monday through Thursday we give them food during this chat, but today is Friday!” she replied. The cheetahs thought it was time for breakfast!

After seeing many African animals, the students gathered in shady spots to eat their lunches. Then many students took a tram ride back to the Kid Zone. Some saw penguins and monkeys, and played in the discovery barn and on the playground.  Students also got to experience the new Billy Goats Gruff Yard, where they could feed and pet goats.

At 1 p.m., it was time to meet up at the front entrance and head back to school. Smiling students waited with their teachers, chaperones said their goodbyes, and it was the end of another great OP-C field trip.

To support field trips like this, join or donate to the PTA today!