The Zoology Club continues to share exotic animals through Zoom.

Courtesy+of+Tamera+Wyman

T. Wyman

Courtesy of Tamera Wyman

Jacey Sola, Staff Writer

The Zoology Club, sponsored by science teacher, Tamera Wyman, and Kathleen Henn, is still continuing to show and teach students about many exotic animals during the pandemic through zoom. Tamera Wyman describes the club as, “a gathering of really wonderful students with big hearts that love animals sharing their interests in animals and their desires to make life better for animals all over the world.”

This year marks the 8th year of the Zoology club becoming a club.

“It started as Amphibian and Reptile Club with Dakota Henn and I was the sponsor. Then it became the Zoology Club so we didn’t discriminate,” Wyman said. 

Many people share different compassions for this club. It is a club that brings people together with a shared joy of animals. According to co-sponsor Kateleen Henn, she is very passionate about the club because of her son who is the club’s original founder and president. His passion started as young as 4 years old. When he finally entered middle school, he was determined to begin a zoology club.

“When he started high school he took his plan and vision to the administration, and when it was approved the initial club, the Reptile and Amphibian Club was born. After Dakotah graduated in 2017 it was then decided that the club name would be changed to the Zoology Club, to include the study and information of ALL types of animals and careers,” co-sponsor, Kateleen Henn said. 

The club meets on Thursdays from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Zoom.

COVID-19 has had a major impact on the club. 

“We cannot meet in person so it has curtailed many of the activities that we would usually do. We had police dogs, therapy horses, animal rehabilitators, and many other visitors come in and share their animals and careers with us.. Also, when we are in-person students can touch and feed animals that visit us, but unfortunately, we can not do that either,” Wyman said. 

Despite the pandemic, students still participate and join the zoom meetings for the club. They never know how many people will be participating in the zoom meetings, sometimes they have 7 or 8, and sometimes they have 25 or 30. 

“This new way of meeting has been working out well, but meeting in person would, of course, be more beneficial for the students so that they could engage and be more involved, but for right now we are making it work in a different way until the day we can gather safely,” Henn said. 

The club serves many purposes to people. Each person has their own purpose for this club. It really allows students to embrace their love for life around the world.

“[It] give[s] students an opportunity to learn more about all kinds of animals and careers involving animals,” Wyman said. 

The Zoology club has always featured many exotic animals such as a peregrine falcon, snakes, tortoises, birds, chickens, rabbits, iguanas, sugar gliders, giant cockroaches, guinea pigs. Before the pandemic, students, teachers, and other members of the community were also able to bring in their animals.

“Anyone we can find that is willing to share their animal and story with us is welcome,” Wyman said. 

The zoology club has had two Zoom meetings so far this year. On Nov. 12, the club featured a guest speaker and former HHS student, Dakota Hein, and shared many exotic insects, such as an Australian Giant Stick Insect.

On Dec. 10, the club featured a local business in Crystal Lake, “Birds and Beasts,” which had a wide range of reptiles, fish, and birds. Dakota Hein joined once again and showed what the business offered to the community.

The Zoology Club is a wonderful club to join if you have a love for animals, want to see different types of exotic animals, and if you just want to meet new people and have a fun time.

“Come and join us for a meeting or two. We would love to meet you and I’m sure you would meet new friends, learn new animal facts, and just relax and unwind a bit in the company of amazing animals and humans too,” Wyman said.