The Hattiesburg Zoo has chosen Sunday, Jan. 23rd as its first Sensory Day of the new year. Sensory Day at the Hattiesburg Zoo is geared toward individuals who have sensory needs.
“Sensory Day at the Hattiesburg Zoo has been well received by our community,” said Jeremy Cumpton, Director of Conservation, Education and Wildlife. “Our families who have children or loved ones with sensory sensitivities really enjoy this special day that is designed specifically for them.”
The Hattiesburg Zoo staff has been trained by leading professionals to recognize guests with sensory needs, and how to handle any sensory overload situations that may occur. Sensory bags, which are designed to help sensory needs in both children and adults, will be available at the Zoo office. The bags are equipped with noise-cancelling headphones, fidget tools, verbal cue cards, and weighted lap pads, which can help lessen sensory overload and help engage individuals.
The zoo is a bustling attraction, filled with plenty of sounds and movement that could possibly trigger an adverse reaction in someone with sensory sensitivities. On January 23rd, the zoo will have all music turned off, quiet train rides, sensory stations, and calm animal encounters throughout the day. This event will take place during regular zoo hours from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. “While we may not be able to tell our animals to use their inside voices, the rest of the zoo will be quiet and ready for our guests,” said Cumpton.
Zoo staff is prepared to assist guests with sensory sensitivities, and all guests will be welcomed with comfort and accommodation. The Hattiesburg Zoo was the first attraction/destination in Mississippi to be certified by KultureCity as a sensory inclusive location.
Regular zoo admission rates apply, and there is no additional charge for Sensory Day. Annual passes will be honored this day.