Lesson plan: The (Zoo) Animal Whisperer
II. While Reading Tasks
- malaise |məˈlāz, -ˈlez| noun-a general feeling of discomfort, illness, or uneasiness whose exact cause is difficult to identify: a society afflicted by a deep cultural malaise | a general air of malaise.
- profusion |prəˈfyo͞oZHən, prō-| noun [ in sing. ]-an abundance or large quantity of something: a rich profusion of wildflowers | the foxgloves growing in profusion among the ferns.
- unprecedented |ˌənˈpresəˌdəntid| adjective-never done or known before: the government took the unprecedented step of releasing confidential correspondence.
- asserted |əˈsərt| verb -state a fact or belief confidently and forcefully: [ with clause ] : the company asserts that the cuts will not affect development | [ with obj. ] : he asserted his innocence | [ with direct speech ] : “I don’t know why she came,” he asserted.
- speculate |ˈspekyəˌlāt| verb [ no obj. ] form a theory or conjecture about a subject without firm evidence: my colleagues speculate about my private life.
- predate |prēˈdāt| verb [ with obj. ] exist or occur at a date earlier than (something): this letter predates her illness.
- germane |jərˈmān| adjective-relevant to a subject under consideration: that is not germane to our theme.
- commotion |kəˈmōSHən| noun-a state of confused and noisy disturbance: she was distracted by a commotion across the street | figure out what all the commotion is about.
- qualms |kwä(l)m, kwô(l)m| noun-an uneasy feeling of doubt, worry, or fear, esp. about one’s own conduct; a misgiving: military regimes generally have no qualms about controlling the press.
- anthropomorphism |ˌanTHrəpəˈmôrˌfizəm| noun-the attribution of human characteristics or behavior to a god, animal, or object.
- F-Dr. Vint Virga likes to arrive at a zoo several hours before it opens.
- T-Sometimes he watches an animal for hours, hardly moving.
- F-The ability to interpret animal behavior is not especially easy.
- T-Dr. Vint Virga is a behaviorist.
- T-Virga believes that his patients possess unique personalities and vibrant emotional lives.
- F-Though he follows the research, Virga, 56, is not a researcher.
- T-Zoos contact Virga when animals develop difficulties that vets and keepers cannot address.
- F-Last summer, I visited Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence, R.I. he lives nearby and has worked with the zoo for six years.
- T- Virga happens to be a veterinarian whose full-time job is tending to the psychological welfare of animals in captivity.
- NA-Dr. Vint Virga may take the animals home with him to study.
Structure and Usage
I – 3- ability
The ability to interpret animal behavior is not easy.
II – 1-knows
Virga knows, because it is his job to know.
III – 2-days
These days, moats and glass have replaced cages.
While Listening Activity
- Is the zoo really any place to keep animals such as these?
- Should we really be keeping wild animals in captivity just for our entertainment?
- What quality of life can we hope to offer them?
- And in reality what life do they really get?
- Space rarely if ever, matches the animal’s natural range and more commonly is reduced instead to virtually nothing.
- Animals which left to themselves would roam for tens of miles a day, tread the same few paces daily.
- Some of the fastest animals on earth live in pens so small they could not gather pace to a trot, let alone full speed.
- Birds are virtually stripped of their most precious gift, flight.
- But it is not just a matter of space it is also the quality of the environment.
- Even some zoos are starting to admit that certain animals like Polar bears shouldn’t be there at all.