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Zoo's Clues

The Detective Headquarters is open on Saturday, 10am - 2pm
weather dependent

You can print out your clue sheet or take one from the mailbox at Detective Headquarters at the zoo any time!

If you have questions or would like to submit your own mystery, e-mail us at edinterps@zooatlanta.org.

 

Super Sleuths Wanted
Greetings Detectives,

My name is Detective Clue Spotter the Otter, and I need YOUR help solving monthly mysteries! Study the evidence, engage in the suspense, observe the clues, and use your detective skills to unravel the mystery, all while learning about our natural world.

Are you ready to get started? Zoo’s Clues is a self-guided activity! All of the confidential materials you need are in the brown mailbox at our Detective Headquarters, located across from the elephant exhibit.

You can print out this month’s clue sheet (file on the right) from home if you want to get a head start!

At the end of the month we’ll post the case debrief below so you can learn even more information about the mysteries we’ve solved together.

Your pal,
Clue Spotter the Otter

Closed Cases

June Case Debrief
Case: Clue Spotter is celebrating Father’s Day this month by helping a couple of our animal friends here at Zoo Atlanta with their Father’s Day gift(s). Can you guess who Clue Spotter the Otter is helping with their Father’s Day gift?

Status: Mystery Solved!
Answer: Milky Eagle Owl

Clue #1: In this clue box we found a feather, picture of the continent of Africa, and a tie. We also learned that the mystery animal is capable of flight.

  • This animal is from the continent of Africa and is named for its bare, white to pink upper eyelids, which are distinctive to this species.
     
  • The feathers on their wings have particularly soft edges, allowing them to fly silently. Noiseless flight makes it easy for them to sneak up on prey. 

Clue #2: We found out these animals fly and know that the animal is nocturnal, meaning that it is awake during the night and sleeps during the day.

  • This animal is a carnivore, meaning it only eats meat. 
     
  • They prey on mammals and birds including hedgehogs, hares, guineafowl, smaller primates, and occasionally reptiles, insects or fish. 

Clue #3: Clue Spotter knows the hammerkop bird is a friend of this animal. The hammerkop says that this father would find a stick nest useful.  

  • They generally occupy stick nests abandoned by other birds, particularly those of vultures, crows or hammerkops.
     
  • Although they are considered independent after about six months, some chicks will stay with the parents for up to two years and may assist at the nest.

Put it all together
Clue Spotter’s friend is from the continent of Africa and is named for its bare, white to pink upper eyelids, which are distinctive to this species. The feathers on their wings have particularly soft edges, allowing them to fly silently. Noiseless flight makes it easy for them to sneak up on prey.  This animal is nocturnal, meaning that it is awake during the night and sleeps during the day.  This animal is a carnivore, meaning it only eats meat.  They prey on mammals and birds including hedgehogs, hares, guineafowl, smaller primates, and occasionally reptiles, insects or fish.  They generally occupy stick nests abandoned by other birds, particularly those of vultures, crows or hammerkops.  Although they are considered independent after about six months, some chicks will stay with the parents for up to two years and may assist at the nest.

Great job, detectives!


Your pal,

‚Äč
Clue Spotter the Otter

Skills you need to be a good Zoo detective:

  • The ability to observe. You should really take a good look at the clues provided. Look at clues from several angles and make note of any details on or about the clue. What is the clue or where did it come from? How does is fit with your knowledge and with the other clues provided? Every part of the clue will help you get one step closer to cracking the case.
  • Good memory. You should try to remember all clues provided and details of each to piece together an answer. Cross check each clue and then think how that might fit with your knowledge of animals.
  • Awareness of animal behavior, physical characteristics, and abilities is important. In order to solve some of our mysteries, you are going to need to know a little bit about animals. What do animals look like and what are their characteristics? Where do they live, what do they eat, (and what does their poop look like!), what are some of their behaviors, and what might be an animal’s motive for committing the crime?
  • Detectives are helpful, too. Not only do Zoo detectives want to help Detective Otter figure out “whodunit” but they are generally helpful to their neighbors, friends and to nature.