Members Michelle Clark and daughter, Ruby, personify the #MoreThanAZoo experience offered daily at the Phoenix Zoo. 

Ruby has attended classes at the Zoo since she was a baby. She started with Farm Tots and Breakfast With the Animals, and now frequents Wild Science Academy and Lunch With a Keeper for Families. 

“She just loves the Zoo,” Michelle said. “The staff has always been amazing, kind and delightful. We love being able to spend time outside while the weather is beautiful, meeting friends and spending the day walking around and enjoying the different animals. We really love all of the educational opportunities.”

There is one animal, however, that Ruby recently fell in love with: the burrowing owl.

“A couple of weeks ago, Ruby recently attended Wild Science Academy,” Michelle added. “She has always loved animals, so we try to walk around the Zoo after class. This time, though, she really took a liking to the burrowing owl habitat. She spent an hour watching them! I looked up more information on them and shared it with her while we sat there.  I had to pry her away so we could make it to her ballet class.” 

They came back two days later.

To turn her experience into a lifetime memory, Ruby brought paper, colored pencils and watercolors.

“She ended up watching them for two hours,” Michelle said with a smile. “As people would come in, she would point out where the sixth owl was sitting up high and where the roadrunner was if people didn’t see it. We got lunch and went back again to sit with the owls. She drew. She talked to them. She painted. She hooted with them.

“It was a lovely afternoon.”

Michelle and Ruby love the many hidden nooks and crannies the Zoo offers to slow down and just observe nature. In fact, they plan on returning to the Zoo in a few days because Ruby enjoys observing the burrowing owls so much.

Who knows how long they’ll sit with them this time! 

“We appreciate all of the Zoo staff who take a moment to be with us and chat about the Zoo and the animals,” Michelle added. “It is always appreciated and makes our Zoo experience that much more amazing.”