Animal Ambassador Programs

These themed, live-animal programs bring a variety of conservation, environmental and science topics to life. Animal Ambassador Programs typically last 30 to 45 minutes and are a great enhancement to a Zoo visit, your classroom or your group's next meeting.


Fees & Booking Information


To book your program, contact Tammy Jones by email or call 785-587-2737. Two weeks advance notice required.
  At the Zoo Outside of the Zoo
Groups of 30 people or less $35 + admission $35+ mileage*
Groups over 30 people $100 + admission $100 + mileage*

*mileage is charged for groups outside of Manhattan only

Multiple Program Discount


Receive $5 off each program when scheduling multiple programs during one visit. Must be scheduled within an hour of the previous program's ending.

Schools & 501c3 Non-Profits in Manhattan


On-site programs at the Zoo are charged at the rates above. Off-site programs are free except in May when above rates apply. Non-profits must present 501c3 IRS letter of determination.

Program Themes By Grade


Preschool - 2nd Grades


The Basics (preschool - 2nd)
Group Size: 30 or less
Summarize and demonstrate the five survival needs of animals. Participants will demonstrate the need for air and space; and explore the needs of food, water, and shelter with the help of live animals and animal artifacts.

Groovin' With the Animals (preschool - 2nd)
Group Size: Any
Examine the structures of animals by demonstrating different types of movements used. Participants will run, jump, and move as they interact with live animals and see animal artifacts representing animals that move in similar fashion. This interactive ZAP gets young kids up and moving while they explore the animal kingdom.

Animal Examiners (1st - 2nd)
Group Size: 30 or less
Classify animals by observing different body coverings. Students will consider the differences among their hair and then explore animal body coverings through sight and touch. Small groups will then test their knowledge through a matching game.

Head, Thorax, Knees and Toes (1st- 2nd)
Group Size: 30 or less
Participants engage in a modified version of the action song, “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” to learn the basic anatomy of insects. Their exploration goes further as they see live arthropods and learn by observation and hands-on modeling that arthropods are animals that come in many shapes and sizes. This ZAP is in partnership with the KSU Insect Zoo and features their animal ambassadors.

Grades 3 - 4


All About Feet
Group Size: 30 or less
Compare different forms of locomotion and relate the body structure to the type of locomotion an animal demonstrates. Participants will take an in-depth look at feet to explore how foot structure allows for certain types of movement. They examine the feet of live animals and test their understanding of this structure through a large group activity.

Mandible Mania
Group Size: 30 or less
Participants first question their perception of arthropods, then use tools to compare and contrast bird mouthparts versus insect mouthparts. This analysis allows participants to conclude that arthropods have the same goals as other animals; survival and reproduction, and their adaptations allow them to achieve this. This ZAP is in partnership with the KSU Insect Zoo and features their animal ambassadors.

Grades 5- 7


Ecosystems Explained
Group Size: 30 or less
Describe an ecosystem and demonstrate the biotic and abiotic components of an ecosystem. After this program, participants will think differently about the traditional tug-of-war game. Through live animal interactions, tug-of-war and other activities, participants will develop a comprehensive understanding of an ecosystem.

I'm a Survivor!
Group Size: 30 or less
Using cockroaches as a model for arthropods, participants engage in an in-depth observation formulating hypotheses for functions of body parts. This exercise leads them to understand that arthropod's vast diversity has led to their extreme success in survivability. This ZAP is in partnership with the KSU Insect Zoo and features their animal ambassadors.

Wildlife for Sale
Group Size: Any
Relate the impact of human action on wildlife and ecosystems and engage in making environmentally-friendly decisions. Participants will practice critical thinking as they engage in an activity that takes them through the impact they have have as they purchase everyday items like notebook paper and snacks.

All Ages


Animals Around the World
Group Size: Any
Inspire appreciation of the natural world. Groups will experience live animals and animal artifacts representing wildlife from all corners of the world.

Falling into Winter (Sept-Feb) • Springing into Summer (Mar-Aug)
Group Size: Any
With the help of Sunset Zoo Animal Ambassadors and a Program Assistant, explore the ease and difficulty animals have when it comes to dealing with cold and heat. Fall and Winter programs focus on animals dealing with cold weather, while Spring and Summer programs focus on animals dealing with the heat.