The Junior Zookeeper Workshop at the Negros Forests and Ecological Foundation


The world is degrading fast. But if we help in whatever way we can, the little that we can do can really go a long way in protecting this world. This is the only one we got.

The Visayan Spotted Deer. NFEFI file photo.

Since the young people will someday inherit this world, it is best to expose them and train them about nature and what they can do to help save it. One such training that they can have is the Junior Zookeeper Workshop of the Negros Forests and Ecological Foundation’s Biodiversity Conservation Center (NFEFI-BCC).

This year, the workshop will be held at the NFEFI compound by the Capital Lagoon in Bacolod City from May 4-8, 2015. It is is designed to give the children a greater understanding and appreciation of Philippine wildlife and what it takes to be a zookeeper.

Learning about how to take care of animals in captivity. NFEFI file photo.

Preparing food for the animals. NFEFI file photo.

Classes will be from 1:30 to 4:30 pm daily and participants can expect a mixture of interactive lectures, practical activities, games, as well as hands-on experience in caring for endangered Philippine animals being cared for at the center. They encourage problem solving, discussion, and team work.

Topics covered include Philippine biodiversity; the role of zoos and breeding centers; animal welfare; bird, mammal and reptile biology; feeds and feeding behavior; environmental enrichment; and tour guiding.

The program is designed for the children to learn while having fun as well as to build an understanding of animals’ needs in the wild and in captivity. Courses will be run by NFEFI-BCC’s resident veterinarian, Dr. Joanne Justo. To make the most of the experience, slots are limited to a maximum of 21 participants.

See the Visayan Warty Pig up close. This is really a cute mother-and-child photo. NFEFI file photo.

All the participants of the course will receive a Junior Zookeeper certificate and the opportunity to enroll as a junior zoo volunteer. The cost is Php2,000 for each student and covers a child’s afternoon snacks, a workshop kit, and a T-shirt. All proceeds of the workshop will be used for the upkeep of the many threatened birds and animals in NFEFI’s care.

This workshop is held annually. To register or for further information, please call NFEFI on 034 433 9234.

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