Animal Shows

Brought to your school – what could be easier?

Catoctin Wildlife Preserve is open seasonally each year, with hours changing as warm summer weather allows more and more of our exotic animals to enjoy Maryland’s outdoor environment.

Many schools already know how easy and economical it is to have special presentations come to them. Flexible and self contained, our programs can be held in a classroom, assembly or at an outdoor education site.

Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo’s educators present safe, live animals and a variety of artifacts to learning groups of all sorts. An obvious choice for science classes, animal programs can also add a new dimension to cultural arts, social studies, history and geography lessons. Topics include habitats, reptiles, the rainforest, continental critters and endangerment. Choose from one of our pre-design programs listed below, or we will develop a program that fits your special needs.

We’ll bring the animals, artifacts, maps, props and knowledge to you, teaching for 45-55 minutes on a subject you choose.

It’s fun, effective and a great way to get your students involved in conservation efforts and education.

Note: Bring the Zoo to You Presentations are only available October 1 to April 1

Hours of Operation

  • March – 10 am-4 pm
  • April – 10 am-5 pm
  • May – 9 am-5 pm
  • June – July – August 9 am-6 pm
  • September – 10 am – 5 pm
  • October – 10 am-5 pm
  • November – 10 am – 4 pm
  • **Last admission taken one hour before closing

Why have a live animal program?

Because it’s Fun!

Our education staff specializes in presenting the animals and the information in a humorous and informative way. The shows are packed with a balance of scientific and silly facts.

Get Involved!

Your group is encouraged to touch the animals and ask questions about them. Studies confirm that the best learning is achieved through active involvement.

It’s Real!

No book or video can ever replace the real thing. Our animal programs literally make the subject matter come alive.


It’s Cost Effective!

The program costs are easily shared between classes and grades. With no busing or extra meal expenses, most groups are bringing our programs into the schools.

It’s Convenient!

Unlike field trips, presentations are not weather dependent, can be held in the smallest of classes or the largest of auditoriums and can be scheduled any time of the year.

It’s Complete!

We even provide you with free master worksheets for our prepared programs. Each set includes vocabulary, suggested activities and a word-find ready to copy and hand out to your students. These worksheets prime the group for the information they are about to learn, and help them recall it after the presentation.

Select from one of the topics below (or suggest one of your own)


Habitats of the World

Discover the unique features animals have to help them survive. Habitats explored include rain forests, deserts, savannas, marshes and woodlands. Creatures such as a spiny-tailed lizard, alligator, chinchilla, parrot and hedgehog are featured. Any grade.

Rainforests: Exploring the Levels

Meet the green cathedral’s unusual inhabitants and learn incredible facts about one of today’s hottest topics. Animals such as a python, giant millipede, Amazon parrot, alligator and red-footed tortoise are featured. Grades 3-5.

Reptiles: Myth-conceptions

Slither, slink and crawl your way through the facts and myths of a mysterious animal class. Live reptiles are introduced in a very safe and non-threatening manner. Animals such as lizards, alligators, turtles, tortoises and snakes are featured. Any grade.

Continental Critters

Meet inhabitants of either Latin America or Africa in this cultural exploration. Maps and folk tales compliment the live animal adventure. Grades 3-6.


Understand the vulnerability of animals by meeting live endangered species and their close relatives. Conservation challenges and success stories are shared, and students are encouraged to apply concepts to a fictitious creature. Grades 5-12. * Due to the nature of live animals, we reserve the right to make substitutions in our programs when necessary.