The wonderment of zoos and aquariums

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Many people have fond memories of taking a trip to the zoo and aquarium as a child.
A visit to a nearby zoo or aquarium is a great way to get an up close look at rarely seen animals in a controlled environment.
Typically when Pearl River County residents consider a trip to the zoo, they think of New Orleans as a destination. It’s well known the Audubon Zoo is the largest in the area, and subsequently the most popular.
But did you know Hattiesburg also has a zoo?
While not as large as the one in the Big Easy, the Hattiesburg zoo has a lot to offer, and on Saturday the attraction will add their 50th animal, Chewy the Sloth.
Just as the name alludes, the new attraction is named after the character from the Star Wars franchise, which will make Saturday’s event one young Jedi knights will enjoy.
Several special Star Wars themed events are planned on Saturday as the Hattiesburg zoo welcomes their 50th attraction.
Small zoos are just as important as the larger zoos. They offer a similar experience for a fraction of the cost. But that’s not to say larger zoos should be neglected.
Sure, children can see animals on a television or in books, but to really spark a child’s imagination and sense of adventure, there’s nothing better than seeing a new animal with your own eyes.
Just think back to the first time you saw a lion, tiger or zebra at a zoo. The sense of wonder and amazement is something children will remember for years to come.
The same is true for a visit to the aquarium. Short of becoming a certified diver or snorkeling off the coast of a far away beach, many people will most likely never see a shark, sting ray or clown fish with their own eyes.
So this summer, consider taking your family on a small adventure to a zoo or aquarium.

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