Zoo Club sessions from Oct 7 at Bannerghatta

 The course includes workshops and field visits.

The Bannerghatta Biological Park is beginning its second season of Zoo Club, a platform for students to learn about nature and the wilderness.

The club begins on October 7 this year, with learning sessions every Sunday for 15 weeks.

This is the second year the course is on; 55 out of 60 students were able to ace it last year, according to an official. A similar course has been on at the Mysuru zoo for 25 years. B T Ravi, IFS officer and secretary of the Zoo Authority of Karnataka, took the initiative to introduce the course in Bannerghatta, a short drive from Bengaluru.

The objective is to inspire young minds to connect with nature, wildlife and work towards conservation with changes in their daily activities, the official says.

This year, the sessions will focus on human-animal conflict and promote awareness about sustainability.

“The aim is to teach conservation to kids; it is not just for marks,” says Amala N Anil, education officer, Bannerghatta Biological Park. Executives, directors, zoo-keepers, animal-keepers and other experts will teach the course, providing both theoretical and practical exposure to students.

“The club made my kids active. It is hard to get them to attend classes on a Sunday, but they were involved in the club as it sparked an interest for them,” says Jagadambal, parent of one of the students of the first batch.

The children were not taken too close to the animals. Safety was not a worry, as the organisers supervise the club well, she told Metrolife.

Students between 12-18 can enrol, and government school students get a concession in the fee.

The sessions could also help those who want to pursue a career in wildlife conservation. “My goal is to be an IFS officer, and I was sure Zoo Club would help me in this pursuit. I did not have much knowledge about animals or the wilderness, and this course taught me a lot in detail,” says Abhishek Patil, a student, recalling his experience last year.

Students are honoured for outstanding performances, and awarded certificates once they complete the course.

Fee factor

The course costs Rs 1,000, and government school children get a concession. The classes are spread over 15 Sundays, starting October 7.

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Zoo Club sessions from Oct 7 at Bannerghatta

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