Along with nearly everyone else these days, the Urban Safari Rescue Society is staying open online.
The animal rescue charity is now offering one-hour video presentations in an attempt to survive.
“We are trying to keep the rescue going by doing online interactive presentations for anyone who wants one,” said Sharon Doucette, the executive director. “We are having a tough time as revenue has dried up.”
She said despite the lack of funds, the animals still need to be fed, cleaned, and cared for.
If anyone wants to sign up for an online seminar with Urban Safari, Doucette is asking for a donation in return.
“This is usually our busiest time of year,” Doucette explained. “We are usually visiting hundreds of schools and daycares, or attending events and festivals. This is when we make our money to help us survive the rest of the year.”
Urban Safari is usually open to the public five days a week, too.
Doucette said she thinks her Internet presentations would be great for kids and would help parents and teachers, as well.
“Kids are getting bored. Parents are getting frustrated. Teachers are probably feeling stressed out.”
She said her video sessions will engage the kids — and as many as their friends as they can connect to on Zoom – and offer parents a break to get other stuff done, or to just relax.
She said the hour-long sessions will showcase 15 animals — a cross section of their creatures — from insects to arachnids to reptiles to small mammals.
“The presentation is both educational and entertaining,” noted Doucette. “It teaches kids respect for animals, it ignites a fascination for animals, and it fosters curiosity about the natural world.”
The presentation will be similar to their usual presentations, but the video aspect of it allows Doucette to present some of the more exotic, fragile creatures that are never taken around to schools or festivals.
“It’s interactive,” noted Doucette. “We will ask the kids questions to get them to think and participate and the kids will be able to ask us questions.”
She said Urban Safari will also email an activity booklet that can be printed.
“It is full of puzzles, word games, colouring, and more — and it directly relates to the animals seen in the presentation.”
Doucette also said she can work hand in hand with educators to adjust the presentations to fit in with lesson plans and curriculum.
“The presentations help the kids, teachers, and parents,” she added, “and the donations help us care for our animals. We have 350 exotic and rescued animals here.”
So far, Urban Safari has been doing about three presentations per day. Doucette said if anyone is interested in signing up, the best way to contact her is via email (email@example.com).
“This is also a nice way to celebrate a birthday in this crazy time.”
According to their website, Urban Safari is also always open to taking donations of fresh veggies and fruit, bottles and cans (for their ongoing bottle drive), hay, bales of straw, chicken scratch, rabbit food pellets, and crickets or mealworms.