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The handicapped to experience our animal world

9 August 2010 No Comment

The Friends of the Pretoria National Zoological Gardens are planning, through the exhibition of taxidermy animal trophies, to give the blind and other handicapped persons an opportunity similar to what a non-handicapped person would experience when visiting the zoo.

It promises to be realistic with sound recordings of the animal calls and noises they make.

Visually handicapped persons will for the first time have the opportunity to stroke the skin of wild animals and feel in detail the ears and eyes and experience the general feeling of the animal.

Experts claim that contact with animals allow humans to concentrate for short periods on something else other than themselves.

Concerning accessibility and guidance, provision, conformation and adaptations will be made for the unique requirements of handicapped persons.

The cerebral handicapped will be asked to assist with the preparation of the exhibition and teachers of the handicapped to act as guides.

Various enquiries have already been received from travel agencies and international tourists.

To bring this exhibition up to world standards, funds are required for essential expenses such as plants for decoration, sound equipment, Braille notes for stands and aluminium plaques, publications and publicity in Braille, personal guides, translators and advertising.

The Pretoria Friends are requesting the business sector to sponsor or make donations and donors and sponsors can choose to where their donations and sponsorship must be channelled.

The funds can be used for a specific exhibition, for a wheelchair, to sponsor a medal, or to carry the costs for the production of sound recording material.

Many more trophies of animals, fish, reptiles and birds are still required. Taxidermists and private collectors are invited to come and exhibit the pride and joy of their handcraftsmanship.

For more information, donations or sponsorship, please contact the chairman of the Friends of the Zoo, Mr. Hennie Pauley, at 012 804 0113 and 083 303 0022

A variety of taxidermist trophies sponsored by Mr. Wikus Marais from Potchefstroom

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