Fourth graders at Faras Elementary in Pirtleville had a visit from the Arizona Game and Fish Department on Jan. 12 where they learned about the different types of wildlife that exist in the southwest.
Sam Huselton, the Wildlife Outreach Coordinator for this part of the state, provided a 45-minute demonstration to the 25 students which included an appearance from Jeep, a desert tortoise, a gopher snake and Sir Percival, a great horned owl.
Her goal was to inform the students that these animals have a right to be here to just like everyone else and to respect them should they encounter one of them.
Huselton grabbed the students attention by displaying the animals she brought with her and then talking about their lifestyles as to how they protect themselves from predators and how they survive in the extreme heat.
“I do a lot of traveling around the state and this program is connected to the state’s science standards, so it gives teachers an advantage because it teaches the basics and reinforces what the kids have already learned,” she said. “It’s really good for these kids to see first hand what they’re learning in the classrooms.”
Huselton has been doing these presentations for about 13 years and says she really enjoys talking to the students.
“Working with wildlife has always been my goal as a kid,” she said. “I’ve worked with animals most of my life. … Working with these kids is such a great experience. They are like sponges. If they have some understanding as to how important wildlife is to the rest of us and to respect them and not hurt them if they see them.”
Huselton will be visiting the fourth graders at Joe Carlson this week in between stops in Sierra Vista, Benson, Bisbee and Willcox.