The Leiden Museum of Ethnology has a special new family exhibition: the DierenAcademie. Here twelve animals teach you about our planet. Fun for the whole family!

What if your master was an elephant? Or your teacher a leopard? You can experience it at the DierenAcademie in the Museum of Ethnology in Leiden. Twelve animals have their own room here. They teach you to look at the world from their perspective. That is badly needed, because people have made a mess of it. Each room is decorated with objects and stories of people who live with the animal. They show that things can be done differently.

Painting in the lesson

In each classroom the animals teach you something new. About themselves, or about their habitat. It is a serious lesson, but by no means boring. The animals are not so fond of talking, more of doing. So there is no standing still. It is even being pushed to pass the Animal Academy. Each room is equipped for an interactive lesson. There is an ice, jumping, ocean, hiding and dance room.

Teacher Leopard and Master Polar Bear

An example of such a lesson is that of a leopard, about leopard print. People love to stand out with leopard print on their accessories or clothes. But did you know that a leopard has the right skin to not stand out? Due to the dark spots, the leopard under the shadow of leaves is difficult to see for prey or hunters. In class you also try to remain inconspicuous, dressed in leopard print.

There are many more surprising lessons. Learn to dance from a crane and make yourself as small as an ant. Master Polar Bear explains why it’s harder to hunt seals now that the ice is thinning. Try to walk silently to a hole in the ice yourself. But if the ice cracks, you’re out!

Come by

The Animal Academy is fun for young and old. From Saturday 25 June, master Elephant will receive the visitors. Buy your tickets via the Museum Volkenkunde website. Follow the lessons of this special team of teachers from around the world full of animations, objects, stories and activities. Have all lessons and assignments been completed? Then take a picture with the team of teachers under the sharp eye of the condor.