Learning About Wildlife

Written by Denise Deby.

North American Porcupine, sleeping in tree, Ottawa, Ontario photo by D. Gordon E. Robertson http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:North_American_Porcupine,_sleeping_in_tree.jpg on Wikimedia Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported
North American Porcupine, sleeping in tree, Ottawa, Ontario photo by D. Gordon E. Robertson http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:North_American_Porcupine,_sleeping_in_tree.jpg on Wikimedia Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

“You have to give animals their space.”

My family often uses those words when we encounter wildlife while camping, hiking or even in our backyard. They’re wonderful words, because they convey a relationship with animals that’s based on respect, without creating unnecessary fears.

The words come from Chris and Martin Kratt, also known as the Kratt Brothers. When my kids were young, we watched the Kratts’ energetic and informative TV show, Zoboomafoo, which introduced preschoolers to wild animals and their habitats. The Kratts have gone on to create Be The Creature, Kratt’s Creatures and Wild Kratts—all on the theme of helping people understand and appreciate animals and nature.

I’m excited to see that Martin Kratt and Chris Kratt are headlining this year’s Kidsfest in Ottawa, appearing on Saturday, April 5 at 2:30 p.m. to talk about their Amazon adventures and answer questions. It’s a great opportunity to learn from and share in their enthusiasm.

There’s a lot more going on at Kidsfest, including the Junkyard Symphony and Little Ray’s Reptiles. Kidsfest is April 5 and 6 at the EY Centre (which you can get to on OC Transpo Route 97).

* * *

On the theme of wildlife, the City of Ottawa is running a Wildlife Series and the next session is “Backyard Biodiversity: Welcoming nature into your yard, not your home,” featuring Nature Canada conservation co-ordinator Sarah Kirkpatrick-Wahl and Bill Dowd of Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control. It’s on Friday, April 11, 7 p.m. at City Hall (Andrew S. Haydon Hall). From 6-9 p.m. at Jean Pigott Place, representatives of the Canadian Wildlife Federation, Nature Conservancy of Canada, Ottawa Field-Naturalists’ Club and the Rideau Valley Wildlife Sanctuary will be on hand, and Ontario Electronic Stewardship will accept used electronic equipment for recycling.

All this coincides with the Canadian Wildlife Federation’s National Wildlife Week April 6-12Check it out for ideas about living alongside and protecting urban and other species.

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