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Students giving a hoot - Metro US

Students giving a hoot

Sara Al-Shaww came face to face with the burrowing owl at the Calgary Zoo yesterday during the launch event for a Canadian wildlife art and literature contest.

“It was pretty cool,” said the 10-year-old, “I learned that they eat insects and grasshoppers and lots of cool stuff.”

Al-Shaww was one of 33 Captain John Palliser students to meet a burrowing owl during the Earth Day launch for Robert Bateman’s Get To Know contest. The contest encourages youth to learn about local wildlife and get involved in nature conservation.

Al-Shaww said it’s the first time she’s heard of the contest — now in its ninth year — but she said she’s definitely going to take part this year.

Her teacher, Jeanette Toupin, said the contest is a great way to expose students to Canadian wildlife and encourage them to take an interest in their surroundings.

“It’s just so important. This is the world of their future, they need to take care of it,” said Toupin, who teaches Grades 4, 5 and 6. “It’s about making responsible decisions concerning our impact on the earth.”

Biodiversity is the theme for this year’s contest, which is open to Canadian youth aged 19 and under.

Winners will have their work published in the 2010 Robert Bateman Get To Know Calendar. The contest closes May 27.

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