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Research Awards for Zoo Kids’ Club Whizz

Media Release
7 September 2005

Research Awards for Zoo Kids’ Club Whizz

Wellington Zoo Kids’ Club member, Miro Jefferis-Nendick has recently been awarded four research awards for her Science Fair project ‘Gibbon Watching at Wellington Zoo.

A student at Queen Margaret’s College in Wellington, Miro observed White Cheeked Gibbons, Nellie and Vilson for one hour each day over two weeks to investigate their natural behaviour and look for any routines the Gibbons had.

“It was really, really fun and really interesting. Vilson liked to show off lots. They also recognised us after a while and got quite excited and started swinging around and stuff”, says Miro.

Miro’s research concluded that the Gibbons did, in fact, have routines.

“They got up in the morning, started swinging, ate lunch, swung some more, then went to sleep for the afternoon”, says Miro.

After receiving the Teacher’s award at her school for the project, Miro went on to enter the Wellington Regional Science Fair exhibiting her findings at Victoria University.

“She won first prize of all the year 8 (Form 2) kids in Wellington. She also won a Royal Society prize and another prize, ‘Realise the Dream Nomination’”, says Miro’s father Dave Nendick.

Miro’s efforts have also won her the title of Wellington Zoo Kids’ Club Member of the Year as well as a Zoo Sleepover to reward her for her achievements.

“Miro’s Sleepover will mean that she and her friends are able to sleep at the Zoo and wake up with howling gibbons before embarking on a behind the scenes tour to experience a pantry full of animal goodies”, says Wellington Zoo Kids’ Club Co-ordinator, Jo Turton.

“Miro’s been a Kids’ Club member for about six years and this is a great example of how much fun learning about animals and conservation can be, and not only for kids”, says Wellington Zoo Chief Executive Officer, Alison Lash.

Wellington Zoo’s Kids’ Club has been operating for about 11 years as a way for children to become involved in animal welfare and education through having fun at the Zoo.

“Children involved in the club are involved in projects that directly benefit animals and make a valuable contribution to Wellington Zoo. We meet about nine times each year and do loads of different activities that encourage the kids to get involved, it’s a great way of having fun”, says Jo.


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