The Boys and Girls Club of Miami-Dade was treated to a wild time at Zoo Miami on Wednesday.
About 30 kids from the organization made the trip to the zoo with the help of the Miami Marlins and its “Team Ayudan.”
“Pretty cool,” said Jonathon Martinez. “I haven’t been to the zoo in a while so it’s cool to see the animals you don’t usually see in Miami.”
The children saw over 2,000 animals, including more than 40 endangered species.
“We like to give back as often as possible and be involved in our community, so bringing the Boys and Girls Club here and giving them that experience that they regularly wouldn’t have is something that’s very meaningful to us,” said Adrian Mora, the team’s community outreach coordinator.
Gian Carlos Miguel said he enjoyed seeing the larger African animals.
“Yeah, I’m having a great time,” he said. “My favorite part here was seeing the African elephant, the rhinos, a lot of things.”
The zoo’s visitors also got up close and personal with some of the residents of Zoo Miami. World-renowned zoology expert Ron Magill showed the club members several animals including an owl and snake. He wanted to teach them to learn how to respect wildlife instead of fear it.
“That’s the number one job of the zoo – to inspire this young generation to care about wildlife – and there’s a great opportunity with what the Marlins have done by giving these kids the opportunity to come out here,” Magill said. “It just shows them different windows they can look into and hopefully get a greater appreciation for this great world of wildlife.”
The Boys and Girls Club kids also played in Zoo Miami’s new $1 million playground and later had the opportunity to feed a few parrots.
“Yeah, this is probably one of the best times in my life,” Jalen Houston said.