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Hattiesburg Zoo to host Sensory Day 4 times this year

Hattiesburg Zoo
Photo courtesy of the Hattiesburg Zoo

The Hattiesburg Zoo has selected four dates in 2023 to host Sensory Day to prioritize individuals who have special needs.

The Hattiesburg Zoo staff has been trained by leading professionals to recognize guests with sensory needs, and know how to handle any sensory overload situations that may occur.

Sensory bags, available in the Zoo office are equipped with noise-canceling headphones, fidget tools, verbal cue cards, and weighted lap pads are designed to help both children and adults and can help lessen sensory overload and help engage and redirect individuals.

During Sensory Day, the zoo will have all music turned off, quiet train rides, sensory stations, and calm animal encounters. This event will take place during regular zoo hours from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

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.

“Sensory Day at the Hattiesburg Zoo has been so well received by our community over the last few years,” Jeremy Cumpton, Director of Conservation, Education, and Wildlife, said. “Our families who have children or loved ones with sensory sensitivities really enjoy this special day that is designed specifically for them.”

The first date will be Sunday, February 12 with the remaining three dates being Sunday, April 2, Sunday, August 6 and Sunday, December 10.

“We wanted to share the dates for the entire year so that families and individuals who want to visit us on these quiet, sensory-sensitive days can plan ahead to join us,” Cumpton added.

Regular zoo admission rates apply, and there is no additional charge for Sensory Day. Annual passes will be honored for every Sensory Day.

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