San Diego Zoo
Many of the zoo's educational outreach programs to grade schools, teen centers, senior care centers and rehab clinics include "animal ambassadors." These animals, selected for their ease with human interaction, are trained to allow caresses from the audience. Not only is the zoo's conservation mission explained, but many participants also have their spirits lifted and enjoy health benefits associated with exposure to these gentle animals.
The binturong or "bear cat" from Southest Asia.
The fennec fox from the Sahara of North Africa.
The ocelot from South America.
The yellow-headed parrot from Mexico and northern Central America.
The two-toed sloth from Central and South America.
The tamandua, a tree dwelling anteater from Mexico, Central and South America.