Lil’ sibs enjoy Columbus Zoo animal exhibit


Little sibs of all ages walked through the snow toward the Johnson Center to see exotic animals from the Columbus Zoo. Ticket sales from the Saturday February 2 event went to support the sophomore class.

The Columbus Zoo brought a variety of animals to show for Lil Sibs weekend. This cheetah, whose name is Edward, was among the animals who was seen but not allowed to be petted. (Photo by Kaitie Fox)

Sophomore class Vice President, Jake Belair, a zoo and wildlife biology major, worked at the Columbus zoo over the summer and helped plan the fundraiser.

“My team is bringing animals from my department,” said Belair. They decided that Lil’ Sibs weekend would be a good week due to the amount of people that would be on campus.

Jake, along with Katie Stevens, a handler from the Columbus Zoo, entertained the crowd while showcasing the animals and facts about each of them.

The handlers showed how the scarlet macaw was trained to fly from handler to handler. The bird flew over the people in the crowd, to their amusement.

“Our programs are really great because they cater to kids and the adults, so everyone will be entertained,” said Belair.

Among those in attendance were Stephanie Lawrence, a sophomore youth and educational ministry major, who brought Raven, age 9, whom she works with through the Tiqvah- Hands of Hope program.

“I liked the cheetah because it was really cute,” said Raven. The cheetah, named Edward, is one of the six the Columbus zoo has in their care.

Other animals at the exhibit included an African Black Footed Penguin, a Tamandua, an African Serval, a Two-Toed Sloth, and a baby alligator which was roughly a foot long. The Tamandua, which is a species of anteater native to South American, was named Tressel because it looks like it is wearing a sweater vest. Tressel is Belair’s favorite animal of the exhibit.

Audience members of all ages learned something new about the animals at the zoo showcases.

“I learned that even when sloths are upside down, their eyes adapt so they can see upside down,” said Lawrence.

The zoo exhibit was among the many activities offered for visiting siblings during Malone’s annual Lil’ Sibs weekend. Other activities included a look-alike contest and a rollerblading night.

Casey Stevens is a staff write for The Aviso AVW.

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