Answer Key: Zoo Whisperer

Lesson plan:  The (Zoo) Animal Whisperer

II. While Reading Tasks

Word Inference

  1.  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.
  2. 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.
  3. unprecedented |ˌənˈpresəˌdəntid|  adjective-never done or known before: the government took the unprecedented step of releasing confidential correspondence.
  4. 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.
  5. speculate  |ˈspekyəˌlāt|  verb [ no obj. ]  form a theory or conjecture about a subject without firm evidence: my colleagues speculate about my private life.
  6. predate |prēˈdāt| verb [ with obj. ] exist or occur at a date earlier than (something): this letter predates her illness.
  7. germane |jərˈmān| adjective-relevant to a subject under consideration: that is not germane to our theme.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. anthropomorphism |ˌanTHrəpəˈmôrˌfizəm| noun-the attribution of human characteristics or behavior to a god, animal, or object.

Reading Comprehension

True /False/NA-Statements

  1. F-Dr. Vint Virga likes to arrive at a zoo several hours before it opens.
  2. T-Sometimes he watches an animal for hours, hardly moving.
  3. F-The ability to interpret animal behavior is not  especially easy.
  4. T-Dr. Vint Virga is a behaviorist.
  5. T-Virga believes that his patients possess unique personalities and vibrant emotional lives.
  6. F-Though he follows the research, Virga, 56, is not a researcher.
  7. T-Zoos contact Virga when animals develop difficulties that vets and keepers cannot address.
  8. 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. 
  9. T- Virga happens to be a veterinarian whose full-time job is tending to the psychological welfare of animals in captivity.
  10. 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

 Sentence  Fill-ins

  1. Is the zoo really any place to keep animals such as these?  
  2. Should we really be keeping wild animals in captivity just for our entertainment?
  3. What quality of life can we hope to offer them?
  4.   And in reality what life do they really get?
  5. Space rarely if ever, matches the animal’s  natural range and more commonly is reduced  instead to virtually nothing.
  6. Animals  which  left to  themselves would roam for tens of miles a day, tread the same few paces daily.
  7. Some of the fastest animals on earth live in pens so small they could not gather  pace to a trot, let alone  full speed.
  8. Birds are virtually stripped of their  most precious gift, flight.
  9. But it is not just a matter of space it is also the quality of the  environment.
  10. Even some zoos are starting to admit that certain animals like Polar bears shouldn’t be there at all.