By Akshita Verma
Ingham County Chronicle
The Potter Park Zoo, on South Pennsylvania Avenue in Lansing, has many family oriented events coming up in the fall and winter.
The main events of the fall season are Boo at the Zoo and Tailgate for the Animals, and the main events for winter are Wonderland of Lights and a beer and wine tasting event.
The Potter Park Zoo isn’t like other zoos, according to Special Event Coordinator Jen Rostar.
“We will never be the biggest zoo around,” said Rostar. “The Potter Park Zoo is focused on wildlife conservation and education programs, and we work with many endangered animals.”
Therefore, most of these events are fundraisers for the zoo.
The Potter Park Zoo focuses on children from kindergarten all the way to Michigan State University students. These education programs, according to Rostar, help bring awareness on caring for animals, especially endangered species.
The first event coming up is Tailgate for the Animals. The Potter Park Zoo website says that the event is on Oct. 4, 1 to 3 p.m. According to Rostar, Oct. 4 is also the day that the residents of Ingham County visit the zoo for free.
The Tailgate for the Animals is an enrichment event. According to Rostar, “animals in the zoo are not able to use all of the intellect and anatomy that they would be able to use in the wild.”
Tailgate for the Animals is an event that will create new scenarios for the animals in the zoo.
According to Rostar, a lot of research goes into the enrichment events.
“We might make an icicle block with a bone inside for the lions, so they are able to use their claws and their intellect to get the bone out,” said Rostar. “For the meerkats, we might make a paper mache package with treats inside.”
Boo at the Zoo is a family oriented event that is all about Halloween.
Boo at the Zoo runs on Oct. 18, 19, 25 and 26. According to the Potter Park Zoo website, there will be a straw maze, live animal presentations, hayrides, and the Boo Tunnel.
According to Rostar, the Boo Tunnel is an underground tunnel that the zoo decorates with Halloween decorations to make it scary for the children.
Nov. 21 to Dec. 28 is Wonderland of Lights, an event.
The zoo will be decorated with holiday lights and decorations.
On Dec. 3 will be a beer and wine tasting fundraiser.
According to Rostar, proceeds from all of the events will go towards the zoo and helping all of the animals.