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Students Create Toys for Local Zoos’ Big Cats


* M E D I A   A D V I S O R Y *

WHEN: Thursday, Dec. 13, 2007, 8:30 to 10:30 a.m.

WHAT: More than 100 UMass Lowell students partnered with Zoo New England, operator of the Stone Zoo in Stoneham and Franklin Park Zoo in Boston. The students worked to create enrichment activities for the “big cats” ߝ including lions, tigers, jaguars, cougars, snow leopards ߝ designed to encourage the animals to use their natural abilities and behaviors to interact with their environments. This increases the cats’ activity levels and offers them a chance to experience new things as they would in the wild, according to Zoo New England. Enrichment can be offered in a variety of different ways. Zookeepers use novelty foods, sounds, smells, boxes, bags, and toys to provide activities that excite all the senses.

The students who worked on creating the toys did so as part of UMass Lowell’s Introduction to Engineering course, taught through UML’s Department of Plastics Engineering.

Demonstrations of the toys will be presented from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. indoors (and outdoors as weather permits) before the toys are loaded into a truck and transported to the zoos. UMass Lowell students, instructors, administrators and Zoo New England representatives, including President and CEO John Linehan, are scheduled to be present for the demonstrations.

WHERE:  Ball Hall, Room 214, UML North, One University Ave., Lowell. Conveniently located parking is available; contact Public Affairs for details.

In the event of snow, please call the University’s cancellation hotline at 978-934-2121. If the University is closed, this event will be rescheduled.

For more information, contact or 978-934-3224