Zoo’s Clues

Help Detective Clue Spotter the Otter crack the case with monthly mysteries geared toward 6 to 12-year-olds.

Available daily.
Staffed Saturday from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Ideal for ages 6 to 12

  • Only staffed on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (weather dependent) or available on a self-guided basis anytime.
  • Prizes can only be picked up when staffed or by contacting cluespotter@zooatlanta.org.
  • Supplies are available at Detective Headquarters for self-guided spotters.

Greetings Detectives,

My name is Detective Clue Spotter the Otter, and I need YOUR help solving monthly mysteries! Study the evidence, engage in the suspense, observe the clues, and use your detective skills to unravel the mystery, all while learning about our natural world.

Are you ready to get started? Zoo’s Clues is a self-guided activity! All of the confidential materials you need are available right here, or in the brown mailbox at our Detective Headquarters, located near the southern ground hornbill habitat.

Zoo’s Clues Online

Printable Clue Sheet (PDF)

At the end of the month, we’ll post the case debrief below so you can learn even more information about the mysteries we’ve solved together.

Your pal,
Clue Spotter the Otter

Skills you need to be a good Zoo detective

  • The ability to observe. You should take a good look at the clues provided. Look at clues from several angles, and make a note of any details on or about the clue. What is the clue or where did it come from? How does is fit with your knowledge and with the other clues provided? Every part of the clue will help you get one step closer to cracking the case.
  • Good memory. You should try to remember all clues provided and details of each to piece together an answer. Cross check each clue and then think how that might fit with your knowledge of animals.
  • Awareness of animal behavior, physical characteristics, and abilities is important. To solve some of our mysteries, you are going to need to know a little bit about animals. What do animals look like and what are their characteristics? Where do they live, what do they eat, (and what does their poop look like!), what are some of their behaviors, and what might be an animal’s motive for committing the crime?
  • Detectives are helpful, too. Not only do Zoo detectives want to help Detective Otter figure out “whodunit,” but they are generally helpful to their neighbors, friends and to nature.

You can print out your clue sheet or take one from the mailbox at Detective Headquarters at the Zoo anytime!

Closed cases

June Case Debrief

Case: One very special animal is being honored with a star service award for its hard work for the Earth. All the Zoo animals voted on the winner. But, oh no! The envelope with the winner’s name is empty! This looks like a job for Clue Spotter the Otter! Can you help Clue Spotter examine the clues to figure out who the lucky mystery animal is?

Putting the clues together:

At the first clue box, we found a shadowed question mark cutout surrounded by the many hats/ objects inside of a “dressing room.” There are many different hats scattered about. This may mean that our mystery animal is important for many reasons.  We learned that our mystery animal is important to the food that we eat; it is responsible for every three bites of food that you eat! We also discovered a medicine bag. Our mystery animal is well known for making a natural miracle elixir that’s a body ache fixer. Throughout history, this has helped to heal wounds, soothe sore throats, and even help upset tummies!

Upon visiting his friend Sparky the Sumatran tiger, Clue Spotter learned that the Zoo ordered some of our mystery animal’s favorite flowers and artwork to thank the mystery animal for all the hard work that it does. We discovered that our mystery animal has special eyes and can sense a “charge” on these flowers. Also, we found out that its favorite flowers are normally yellow, white, or blue because of their unusual ultraviolet markings. You can even spy some of these flowers in your own backyard here in Georgia!

At the third and final clue box, we found a tiny “#1 Pollinator” trophy and what appears to be an acceptance speech. In the speech, our mystery animal starts by thanking Project Pollinator here at Zoo Atlanta. We learned that Zoo Atlanta helps our mystery animal by not using harmful pesticides, planting lots of different flowers, and by being a smart consumer. You can help our mystery animal out in your own backyard too! This is very important, because without our mystery animal there would be no more almonds, cherries, or even avocadoes. Last, but not least, just because this animal doesn’t have a sign here at the Zoo, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Elephants may not be native to Georgia, but our mystery animal sure is!

Once we put all these clues together, we now know that the mystery animal is the bee!

Status: Mystery Solved!

Answer: Bees

Great job, Detectives!

Your pal,

Clue Spotter the Otter

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