To-date, we have had a total of 101,164 visitors!
Our Sensory Safari exhibit originated in 1991 as a program for individuals with visual impairments. They were offered an exceptional opportunity to “see” wildlife through the sense of touch. It was and still is a mobile educational classroom, transported in a large cargo trailer, that exhibits mounted animals from the United States and abroad.
The original trailer was under the care of Kathy and Fred Leonard, who greatly broadened its popularity by bringing the animals to the “Huntin’ Time Expo,” outdoor clubs, schools, private organizations and eventually across the country to participate with the Safari Club International as far away as Georgia.
Over the past several years the trailer has covered over 15,000 miles and has had over 88,000 visitors. We’re going as strong as ever with the help of Stony and Alma Bing and Don Dixon.
HISTORY OF SCI’S SENSORY SAFARI
By Alma Bing
The "father" of the original Sensory Safari is a gentleman from our very own state of Michigan. In 1991, Mr. Robert Easterbrook Sr. arranged for, borrowed, and donated mounts to be supplied to children, including those who were visually impaired, in his area of Madison Heights. This began an invaluable resource to these students to "see wildlife through the sense of touch". Our guests are always surprised that they can actually touch our animals to get the sense of varying textures and thicknesses of the pelts.
Today, mobile educational units travel to schools, senior citizen organizations and various disabled groups, including those who are visually impaired and blind. Not only are the visitors able to touch these magnificent animals, but the teaching of their habitats and behavior can more easily be explained along with conservation issues.
Of the 140 North American SCI Chapters, approximately 46 have permanent Sensory Safaris and over 20 chapters have mobile units. Over 750,000 guests annually visit nationwide. The Sensory Safari is SCI’s most successful educational outreach program. It is recognized by numerous schools for the blind, as well as countless museums, schools, fairs, and zoos. None of the other continents, at this time, have anything like this, we are truly unique.
With the increasing urban sprawl, this “hands-on” experience for our children and adults is a way to reconnect humans with the land and our natural world.
Donations are always needed due to the deterioration of the mounts and also the need to vary the displays periodically. Donations can be of any type of mount, skull or hides. The donations are tax deductible for the fair market value. Please CONTACT US for more information.
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