In this computer simulation for ages 8-14, players become veterinarians at a zoo. Using more than 30 realistic medical tools, kids examine 25 species of animals in 30 hands-on scenarios. In one, they will heal an otter that is spitting out food, and in another, discover why a polar bear has become lethargic.
Kids find the sick zoo creatures by clicking on highlighted animals on a wall map in their office. In a short video sequence, the concerned zookeeper briefs the player. The program offers hints and suggestions of how to examine and then treat each ailment, with more direction being offered on the easiest of three levels of difficulty.
For example, when faced with a rhino that has loose stools, the player will use the magnifying glass to look at the stool and then use a stool kit to send a sample to the lab. When worms are discovered in the stool, the player should add dewormer medicine to the rhino’s feed.
The zoo’s head veterinarian mentors the player and critiques each case. Vet techs and zookeepers also help along the way with observations and medical background. As players succeed, they earn trophies and unlock new options in the game.
Kids who are squeamish about blood, might not like the few scenarios that involve using a scalpel to cut skin. While the blood doesn’t ooze, the inside of the cut looks realistic.
This easy-to-play simulation provides a hands-on way of teaching children about zoo animal illnesses and how to make sick animals well.
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