What is Zooniversity?
Zooniversity® is a traveling wildlife education company that introduces children and adults to the fascinating world of animals. We deliver hundreds of conservation-based zoology enrichment classes, stage shows and exhibits each year at schools, libraries, churches, scouts, community and corporate events and private parties throughout Texas, surrounding states and the entire United States. We are not a petting zoo and have no farm animals. We are not a zoo and are not open to the public, as we’ve chosen to not expose the animals to the stresses of daily exhibition.
Zooniversity® LLC is privately owned, fully insured, federally licensed by the USDA, and holds all the required state, county and city permits for the animals we care for—ensuring you that you’re hiring wildlife professionals.
Where do you get your animals?
Most of our animal ambassadors came to us as unreleasable wildlife, zoo surplus or displaced exotic “pets.” Now, they all enjoy a safe and pampered existence at our Zooniversity® facility. They all have spacious homes, nutritious zoological diets, a schedule of proper veterinary care and daily enrichment and socialization activities.
None of our animals are intended to be kept as household pets. We often share their stories and scars to illustrate important issues—habitat and species conservation, the responsibilities of exotic pet ownership and the need for restrictions on the collection and importation of animals for the exotic pet trade.
Why don’t you have Old World monkeys, big cats or larger animals?
We are animal professionals and we will not expose our audiences to the unpredictable behavior and liability that is inherent with these animals. Your safety is always our principle concern.
Our Secular Teaching Approach
We teach secular curricula. We believe that our role is to teach zoological science and that the family’s role is to instill personal belief systems. Our personal beliefs will NEVER be evident to our students, but, as a “science” company, we DO teach currently-accepted scientific principles. Topics such as animal adaptations, natural selection, the impact of human intrusion, and climatic changes on wildlife are taught in our programs. If your family’s personal beliefs do not align with this approach to teaching zoology and conservation, then this is probably not the wildlife education company for you. Our mission is to instill a love of wildlife and nature by sharing the latest scientific information…we’ll leave the rest to you.
Who will be our presenter? Meet the wildlife educator…
Zooniversity® was founded in 2001 by zookeeper and wildlife educator Allison Knox Blankenship. As a mother of two “animal crazy” children, she saw the need in North Texas for a wildlife education service that was fun and entertaining, yet professional.
Allison Blankenship has expert qualifications. She holds a BA in Biology from Bucknell University and a MA in Biomedical Instructional Design from the University of Texas, Southwestern Medical School. She has spent more than 35 years as an award-winning instructional designer, trainer, zookeeper and wildlife educator.
She is member of the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA), the Zoological Association of America (ZAA), the American Association of Zoo Keepers (AAZK), the National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association (NWRA), and she is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Dallas-Fort Worth Herpetological Society (DFWHS). She is known for her high-energy, upbeat speaking style and for her unique way of inspiring future zoologists.