7th Annual Touch An Animal Day


7th Annual Touch An Animal Day

Stefany Bornman

Aug. 22, 2015

7th Annual Touch An Animal Day

Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, Georgia – The University of Georgia’s Savannah River Ecology Lab studies the environment and really emphasizes being hands-on with their education.

The animals are not capable of fending for themselves and aren’t released back into the wild, but it’s a unique opportunity to see some native species.

“Seeing that young ladies eyes come to light and to know that she had seen something for the first time and it will develop and appreciation for science,” said Public Relations Coordinator Vicky Sutton-Jackson.

The Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, a research center for the University of Georgia, held “Touch an Animal Day” to teach the community about native plants, rescued wild life and about the research they do through tagging animals and releasing back into the wild.

“To understand that how we treat the environment is essential in caring for the environment and what affects one affects the other. What affects the flora and the fauna affects human life and the entire environment,” said Sutton-Jackson.

A snapping turtle, snakes, a friendly possum, baby gators and even a 70-year-old turtle were some of the many animals people could touch.

“And we gave education on snake safety and handling. So that they wouldn’t have the misunderstanding or perception that you can touch an animal at any time,” Sutton-Jackson told News Channel 6.

The only animals off limits were the venomous snakes and for the hungry kids they could delight in the many edible plants on display.

“Giving children an understanding and appreciation for that environment and for the plants and animals around them at a very young age and we hope that will lead them to possibly careers in STEM as well,” Sutton-Jackson said.

And the outreach groups says seeing the excitement of learning about the environment is the most rewarding feeling.

The University of Georgia Savannah River Ecology Laboratory has research programs throughout the state.

They also offer “Be An Ecologist Day” to enhance environmental education.