Zoo Trip article 28.1.14 - Upton Court Grammar School

Whipsnade Zoo Trip
The first half of the Year 12 students studying Biology at Upton Court Grammar School went to
Whipsnade Zoo on Tuesday 28th of January. As we boarded the coach the excited chatter filled the
atmosphere about the various animals we would see.
After looking briefly at a few of the animals, including chimps and sealions, the student body headed
to their first lecture. We took notes about the study of animal conservation and the immense
research linked to it carried out by the ZSL (Zoological Society of London). We were told about the
Amur Leopard and how there are only thirty left in the wild. We then listened to a scientist and her
primate observation study which investigated the behaviour of chimpanzees before and after they
had their enrichment activity. The enrichment idea I found most fascinating, other than climbing and
vocalising, was theft. We learnt how theft stimulates the brains of chimps and thus keeps them
Once the lecture had finished, we all had two hours for observation time of the various other species
at the zoo. It was entertaining to see elephants and their calves joyfully play-fighting, but it was also
very educational in the sense that we learnt a lot about our coursework, which is worth 20% of our
AS grade. Despite the frequent onslaught of chilly winds and occasional rain showers, we were
resilient and continued our voyage to see many other inhabitants of the zoo. We stopped to see
hippos in their enclosure. The stench was awful, but it was worth it to see the occasional glimpse of
the mother hippo with her calf in the murky water.
The second lecture consisted of a conservation activity, where each group had to calculate the EDGE
score of their endangered species and give a one minute speech on why they should receive £50,000
to begin a conservation programme for it. The funniest moment would have to be the group which
played sad music (commonly heard on charity adverts) during their speech to evoke sympathy from
the audience. Once the speeches had finished and the winning group was announced, we headed to
the zoo’s gift shop to buy souvenirs of our journey. Overall, the zoo trip was definitely memorable.
From the vibrant flamingos to the creepy crawlies, and as Tony the Tiger would say, it was “Grrreat!”
All of us would definitely love to go there again, as it was a day which we cannot forget!
By Aneesa Awan and Keshana Kuruparan