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Volunteers introduce you to animals on nature trail at S.F. zoo.

Volunteers introduce you to animals on nature trail at S.F. zoo Ah, the luxurious feel of chinchilla. To stroke this silky fur, you needn't spend a fortune for a coat. You can pet the pelt--on a live animal--at the San Francisco Zoo. Along a nature trail inside the Children's Zoo, you get a close-up look at the richly endowed rodent and about a dozen other intriguing animals cared for and displayed by young volunteers.

The trail has 10 stations; as you stop at them on a self-guided tour, 12- to 16-year-old volunteers show off their animal charges. The youngsters share their impressive knowledge of animal behavior (the chinchilla protects its fur with frequent dust baths), history (ancient Romans used ferrets as mousers), and feeding habits (a horned owl can eat up to a thousand mice a year).

The 200-yard walk interests and delights adults as well as children, and volunteers let you touch or pet some animals.

At noon and 3 daily except Monday in the grassy center of the Children's Zoo, 30-minute shows feature birds of prey, mammals, or reptiles.

Children with a serious interest in caring for animals can sign up to join next year's volunteer program; for details, call (415) 661-7104.

The zoo, at Sloat Boulevard and 45th Avenue, is open 10 to 5 daily. The nature trail is open 11 to 4 daily except Mondays now through September 1, then weekends through October.

Entry to the Children's Zoo costs $1 in addition to zoo admission of $3.50, $1 for seniors, free for children 15 and under with an adult.
COPYRIGHT 1986 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1986 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Sunset
Date:Aug 1, 1986
Words:265
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