Group size: 10 or more works best
Equipment: Large room or open space, a towel or T-shirt with a knot tied in the middle, masking tape, or cones to mark the boundaries.
- Have everyone line up along one wall, choose one person to be the zookeeper, the zookeeper goes to the center of the room, everyone else is secretly given the name of a common zoo animal (such as lion, bear, giraffe, hippo, etc.)
- The T-shirt or towel is placed off to the side of the room and the zookeeper must stand in the middle.
- The zookeeper then starts slowly calling out the names of animals, if the animal you were given is called you must run to the centerline and back while the zookeeper runs for the towel.
- The zookeeper must try to get the towel and tag the animal with it before it makes it back to home.
- The zookeeper may throw the towel below waist level in trying to tag the animal.
- If the animal gets tagged they are out and move to the sideline. Play continues until all animals have been captured.
- When an animal is tagged, they then become the zookeeper and the old zookeeper is given an animal name and takes their place along the wall.
- Zookeeper should try to remember the names of animal that have not been caught so that they can call them again. Animals running diagonally away from where the towel is creates a farther distance for the zookeeper to travel in order to catch you.
- There was quite a bit of inactive time. Could have been better if animals were limited to one species or if more than one person had the same animal.