Animals enrich the lives of kids and adults in a variety of ways. But while most people’s experiences are with dogs or cats, some Linden Grove School students are benefitting from regular, close interactions with visitors from the Cincinnati Zoo including Crystal the ball python and Marvin a blue-tongued skink (a type of lizard.)
Crystal and Marvin are two of the participants in the Human-Animal Intervention program available at LGS through the Cincinnati Zoo, offered as part of the school’s expanding options for after-school activities.
Each week participating students spend time with one or more visitors from the zoo, learning about their likes and dislikes, and how their movements indicate if they are stressed or relaxed. Ultimately, students learn how to handle the visitors in a way that benefits both humans and animals.
The goal is to help students get “close enough to care” – to make a personal connection with the animals as individuals. And as they learn to care more about animals and how to develop positive relationships with them, hopefully it will enhance their relationships with people as well.