Australian Wildlife Displays – Anthony Stimson
I ran into Anthony Stimson again a little while ago whilst running science workshops at Australian Museum’s Science in the City. Anthony runs Australian Wildlife Displays and visits schools to perform wildlife shows. As such its common for us to run into each other whilst at science festivals and environmental events and have become mates along the way. Whilst watching one of his performances it struck me how much can be packed into a wildlife show; for Anthony it’s not just about the animals but also the overall conservation message. Anthony approaches shows in the same way a Zoo or an environmental center presents whereby the following messages are kept front and center:
- the animal’s physiology.
- the animals place in the local ecology.
- conservation efforts for the animal or related endeavours.
- what the public can do?
- get a real background with the animals; work with them in their natural environment as a ranger, keeper or naturalist.
- get an understanding of the animals natural habitat by being involved in bushland regeneration and ecological restoration.
- get the appropriate licenses to case animals to audiences and be aware of local, State and Federal welfare guidelines
- use animals that you’re familiar with and find a mentor to give you further instructions.
- treat the animals well; feed them well, house them well and transport in the best possible conditions.
- rotate animals in front of audiences frequently; give them a rest from prodding hands for as much as possible.
- showcase the real behaviours of the animals and be aware of their social requirements, limitations and dangers.
- discuss conservation efforts of not just the showcased animal but the entire habitat they come from.
- read journal articles and bulletins on your subject; stay up to date with your biological knowledge
All the best!
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