Children from five local primary schools recently welcomed a mini petting zoo into their classrooms courtesy of Specsavers Oban and ZooLab UK, who carried out the unique sensory workshops.

ZooLab workshops allow kids to get up close and personal with an array of exotic creatures while learning about their ecosystems and habitat. The programme offered to schools is developed to tie in with the national curriculum and offers a real hands-on learning experience with a trained ZooLab ranger.

Unique animal handling experience

Youngsters can see, touch and handle animals, such as an African land snail, Madagascar hissing cockroach, cornsnake, cane toad, emperor scorpion, Caribbean hermit crab or Chilean rose tarantula. Along with animal handling, school children are taught the importance of looking after their own senses by Specsavers opticians.

Optical assistants at Specsavers Oban, Kerry McDougall and Martyna Surowka, joined assistant manager Iona Campbell on recent visits to the local primaries. This unique animal handling experience was enjoyed by children ranging from nursery classes to primary three pupils at Dunbeg, Lochnell, Park, Rochfield and St Columba’s Primary Schools.

Raising awareness

Ken Macdonald, director of Specsavers in Oban, said: ‘Specsavers has sponsored several ZooLab visits across Scotland and we were delighted to be able to offer this interactive workshop at five local primaries.

‘It’s great that these workshops allow us to raise awareness of the importance of regular eye tests from a young age and teach children good practice for looking after their eyes and ears.

‘I was thrilled to hear the children were so engaged in all elements of the workshop and many of the pupils were very brave to get up close and personal with the creepy crawlies.’

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