Spencer Cole loves animals, and he knows a lot about them.
Before non-essential business was shut down in an effort to combat the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Cole served as a Zoo Teen Program leader at the Seneca Park Zoo. Now stuck at home, he is still helping others learn more about wild animals in Spencer’s Animal of the Day videos posted to social media.
Cole, who is on the autism spectrum, started this project all on his own. The short videos are entertaining and compelling, as Cole relies on his keen memory of animal facts supported by images he finds online.
“He’s clearly so passionate about animals, and so knowledgeable,” Pamela Reed Sanchez, president of the Seneca Park Zoo Society, told Spectrum News. “To be able to share his knowledge and passion in the way he’s doing right now, it’s really exciting for us. We love watching him.”
“I thought I would just give them a chance to cheer them up, so that way they won’t feel so bored once the coronavirus goes down,” Cole said.
Cole comes up with the topic, writes each script, and records and edits the videos from his Pittsford, New York home.
“It’s been completely on them, it came as a surprise to us. We were thrilled to see it, and we shared it on our social media to let people know that Spencer was doing this,” Sanchez said. “And I see they have a growing following on his Facebook page.
Cole isn’t in it for the likes. He just wants to help others foster a respect for wildlife by learning more about animals.
“I want them to love the animals, and love knowing the facts about the animals, and also think about the conservation.”
See Cole share a few more animal facts in the video below.
Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, going to the dog park, spending time with his daughter, and coffee.