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Hattiesburg Zoo to host first sensory day of 2022 on Jan. 23

Staff members are prepared to assist guests with sensory sensitivities, and all guests will be...
Staff members are prepared to assist guests with sensory sensitivities, and all guests will be welcomed with comfort and accommodation.(WDAM)
Published: Jan. 17, 2022 at 4:18 PM CST
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - The Hattiesburg Zoo will be a little quieter on Jan. 23.

The Hattiesburg Zoo has chosen Sunday, Jan. 23, as its first sensory day of 2022, which will be geared toward people who have sensory needs.

All music will be turned off. Quiet train rides, sensory stations and calm animal encounters will be hosted throughout the day during regular zoo hours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“While we may not be able to tell our animals to use their inside voices, the rest of the zoo will be quiet and ready for our guests,” said Jeremy Cumpton, director of conservation, education and wildlife at the Hattiesburg Zoo.

Sensory bags, which are designed to help sensory needs in both children and adults, will be available at the Zoo office. The bags are equipped with noise-canceling headphones, fidget tools, verbal cue cards, and weighted lap pads, which can help lessen sensory overload and help engage individuals.

The Hattiesburg Zoo staff has also been trained by leading professionals to recognize guests with sensory needs, and how to handle any sensory overload situations that may occur.

Staff members are prepared to assist guests with sensory sensitivities, and all guests will be welcomed with comfort and accommodation.

“Sensory day at the Hattiesburg Zoo has been well received by our community,” said Cumpton, “Our families, who have children or loved ones with sensory sensitivities, really enjoy this special day that is designed specifically for them.”

The Hattiesburg Zoo was the first attraction/destination in Mississippi to be certified by KultureCity as a sensory inclusive location.

Regular zoo admission rates apply, and there is no additional charge for Sensory Day. Annual passes will also be honored on this date.

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