In West Germany, people with the handicap of blindness are being helped to learn more about the world about them, in a new programme started by the Duisburg Zoo.
In West Germany, people with the handicap of blindness are being helped to learn more about the world about them, in a new programme started by the Duisburg Zoo. For the first time, the blind people have discovered the shape of an elephant, and the way a python feels to the touch.
SYNOPSIS: The zoo officials together with the Society for the Blind in Duisburg believe that the blind can learn from touch, and have given them this opportunity to make direct contact with animals. For adults as well as children, a visit to the zoo can be exciting, and here for the first time at Duisburg,blind people share in the experience, It was also a new experience for this female elephant who was unconcerned by the explorations of inquisitive hands.
It was less pleasant for the python who had its jaws tightly bound with string. The visitors found that the two metre (six feet six inches) long reptile was warm to the touch. Their initial anxiety about handling the snake dissolved when they found it docile.
Even a performance by dolphins had meaning for the visitors. Their sensitive hearing enables the blind to receive an impression of the tricks being performed through the sound of the splashing water. And after the performance the visitors were also able to bring their sense of touch to the task of learning about dolphins. The model was a Caribbean dolphin named David.
The tour ended with a visit to the monkey house, where the guests were welcomed by Mirinda a female orangutan. The blind people agreed that the visit helped them to become more aware of the shapes and textures in the world about them.