NEW Interactive "shooting" gallery at Toledo Zoo

Published: May. 22, 2019 at 4:46 PM EDT
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One thousand animal artifacts are all in one room.

These artifacts are now out of basement storage and on display.

But this is no ordinary display.

Welcome to "Nature In Hand." It's upstairs inside the ProMedica Museum of Natural History at the Toledo Zoo & Aquarium.

Nature In Hand has your traditional pelts and bones that you can touch. Plus, historic collections of taxidermied mammals and insects.

"Specifically, I know, the insects, a lot of them were collected in the wild in the 40s. They have label tags on them," explains Graem Boyer, Associate Curator at the newly renovated ProMedica Museum of Natural History inside the Toledo Zoo & Aquarium.

Boyer says it took a team of employees at the zoo roughly one year to remove every item from storage and prepare it for display. Many of the specimens predate the building itself.

The modern twist turns the animals into a shooting gallery.

One where you "shoot" with a fake camera.

"We do try to incorporate some sort of interaction, some way to draw in crowds that might not be otherwise interested, " continues Boyer.

The game challenges visitors to look around the room and catalog or "accession" artifacts by snapping pictures of ones that meet specific criteria. When you accurately aim and click the shutter, an infrared beam hits a glowing target, turning it the color assigned to your camera.

A running score is tabulated by the computer. During each clue, you have 30 seconds to shoot more correct answers than the other player. After five clues are up, one player is the winner.

If you want a rematch, 50 clues are in rotation, guaranteeing different gaming experiences and repeat visits.

The ProMedica Museum of Natural History opens to the public Friday, May 31, 2019. It is included with your admission to The Toledo Zoo & Aquarium.