Animal ambassadors

Cannon Connections photo: Liliana Castillo Kathleen Kosman, a zookeeper with the Rio Grande Zoo, tells children about the leopard gecko. The gecko can shed its fatty tale to get away from predators.

The Rio Grande Zoo program called Zoo To You does just that.

The group of animal ambassadors visited children and youth July 8 at the Cannon Library. On their trip, they also visited Tucumcari, Fort Sumner and Portales.

The outreach program travels more than 20,000 miles and visits 26,000 people each year in New Mexico.

The Albuquerque Zoo created the program to promote conservation, according to a program spokesperson.

A group of animal ambassadors and zoo keepers visit regions in the state for a week at a time.

The program is geared toward elementary students but can be adapted for audiences of every age.

The free program is year-round and visits libraries and community centers in the summer and schools during the school year.