By Ryan Barich, Executive News Editor

While volunteering to help protect the piping plovers, small coastal birds on the shores of Montrose Beach, zoology teacher Jennifer Welter spoke with a leader of a local ornithological group about a certain flying mammal that the ornithologist was sure students would love: bats.

The description of these creatures sparked in Welter the idea of bringing them into Prospect to her zoology classes. After months of planning and pitching the idea to the administration, the presentation was finally approved on Sept. 16, and will be held in the community room on Nov. 11.

“This is exciting,” Welter said. “I’m really looking forward to seeing all the students be able to get close to parrots, skunks, sugar gliders and possibly even snakes.”

That’s right, Welter did not manage to just get a group of bats to come to Prospect; she was able to get a whole zoo of animals to make an appearance in the school’s community room.

As of right now the confirmed list of animals include the fruit bats, parrots, skunks, sugar gliders, a chameleon and a gecko. Welter is also hopeful that a snake will be participating in the visit, but is still trying to confirm an exact list of species.

“It’s fantastic to see some of the animals we are learning about,” Welter said. “A live presentation will be engaging, interesting and obviously much more real life than what we are able to show in class.”

The field trip will have live animal experiences, meaning students can watch how animals would interact with each other and their environment in a makeshift habitat. The trip also includes a 45 minute presentation on bats and a talk on parrots from around the world.

Welter hopes that by bringing in experts who work closely with these animals, they will help answer some of the major questions her students have.

Welter is also hoping that she can expose students to different career opportunities within the zoology field.

“No powerpoint presentation can take the place of seeing a live animal move and respond to its environment,” Welter said.

The field trip is open to all zoology students and will run through periods 1, 2 and 3. All that is required is a signed permission slip and $5 delivered to Welter before Nov. 11.