Zoo Camp '85 Offers Youths Fun, Learning

If you've ever had a yen to observe a newly hatched chick or examine a baboon skeleton--and you're between the ages of 8 and 12--"Zoo Camp '85" may be the place for you this summer.

The weeklong day camps run through Aug. 30 at the Santa Ana Zoo, which is the home, according to zoo officials, of one of the most important collections of primates on the West Coast. Camp hours are Monday through Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Thursday, 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.; Friday, 9 a.m. to noon.

Youngsters in previous sessions participated in anatomy lab, conducted animal projects, took part in a nighttime guided flashlight safari through the zoo, worked with zoo keepers during the day, collected aquatic insects and reconstructed authentic animal skeletons.

"It's a fun program whereby the students happen to learn simultaneously," said Jennifer Rigby, the zoo's curator of education. "The kids actually become involved in the behind-the-scenes . . . operation of the zoo."

Cost of the Zoo Camp is $100 per session, which includes round-trip bus transportation to the zoo from one of the participating colleges, which include Golden West College, Orange Coast College, Santa Ana College, Fullerton College and Saddleback North College. A $40 bilingual, half-day session will be offered Aug. 19-23.

For information, call the zoo at (714) 836-4000.

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