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SHSU To Introduce ‘Hannah,’ New Program At Houston Zoo Event

July 30, 2013
SHSU Media Contact: Jennifer Gauntt

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Hannah and Sammy
Hannah, the real-life Bearkat, gets acquainted with Sammy during a visit to the Houston Zoo last September. Other Bearkats can meet Hannah during SHSU at the Zoo, a Jr. Bearkats event open to the public, on Aug. 17. —Photo by Brian Blalock

Bearkats of all ages will have the opportunity to meet a real, live version of the Sam Houston State University mascot on Aug. 17 when the Jr. Bearkats program hosts its first SHSU at the Zoo.

The Houston Zoo will open its doors to SHSU alumni and friends from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for the event, which will include access to the zoo, a buffet-style lunch, a play and the chance to meet Hannah the Bearkat.

“Hannah the Bearkat was introduced to the university in the fall of 2012 around the time of the Battle of the Piney Woods,” said Chris Arcos, on-campus recruitment counselor who oversees the Jr. Bearkats program. “With the help of a great SHSU alumni member and a vice president with the Houston Zoo, David Brady, we have been able to secure Hannah for our upcoming engagement so all Bearkats in attendance can meet her.”

After meeting Hannah, families can catch a showing of “Avenue Zoo,” which features two SHSU alumni in acting roles.

Avenue Zoo,” is an animal puppet show featuring “lively songs and music, plus lots of familiar Houston references.” It “provides a fun and entertaining way to educate kids about wildlife and inspire an interest in conservation,” according to the Houston Zoo’s website.

SHSU at the Zoo is being held to promote the university’s new Jr. Bearkat Elite Membership, which, for $25, grants members exclusive access to events throughout the year.

“Up until this point, the Jr. Bearkat Program has been a free membership for children up to the age of 13, and, for that reason, we have solely depended on the generosity of SHSU Athletics to allow our members to attend various sporting events throughout the year,” Arcos said.

“With the implementation of our new Jr. Bearkat Elite Membership, we will be able to not only have events at larger venues such as the Houston Zoo but also try to grow the program outside of Huntsville, in areas like Houston or The Woodlands, where there is such a large alumni base who have families with children under 13,” he said. “By becoming a Jr. Bearkat Elite Member, events such as this zoo event will be included in the membership price and only parents attending the event with their children will need to purchase a ticket to attend.”

The zoo event is $25 per person, which includes lunch and a year’s complimentary Jr. Bearkats Elite Membership for children 13 and younger.

Tickets can be purchased online through the Jr. Bearkats website, at shsu.edu/~jrbearkats, until Aug. 9.

“This is a great opportunity for parents to bring their children and help bring the summer to a great close, 'Orange-ing Out' the Houston Zoo while meeting the university’s real-life mascot, learning about the importance of wildlife conservation and interacting with SHSU outside of Huntsville,” Arcos said. “The Jr. Bearkat program is designed to breed the next generation of Bearkats, and we look forward to exposing them to everything our great university has to offer through events such as this."

For more information, contact Arcos at arcos@shsu.edu or 936.294.2710.


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