BRANFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – A local camp is offering children the opportunity to learn about different types of animals.

Several kids were at the Dan Cosgrove Animal Camp on the hot and humid Wednesday in Branford. They were interacting with some cute critters, learning about animals that need to be protected in this heat, and others that prefer it.

From hanging out with hawks to partying with pigs, these kids are getting an up-close experience with a variety of animals.

“I’ve learned about a lot of animals, mainly reptiles, birds, and mammals,” said Dean Grangs, student at Dan Cosgrove Animal Camp.

Whether they’re petting an opossum or cuddling a cockroach, these campers are not only learning about the animals but how they can protect them and their environments.

“We teach them about not going up and approaching wild animals, but taking notice of them,” said Laura Burban, Director of Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter.

During the summer months, we sadly hear of dogs being left in hot cars. It’s important these kids know what to do if they see an animal in distress.

“We teach them about calling their local animal shelter or animal control department. A lot of these kids come from across the state, so sometimes they’ll raise their hand and say, ‘we don’t have an animal shelter.’ So, we explain they can call their local police department, even their local fire department will come out and assist them,” Burban said.

The camp runs through next week and the hope is kids will go back to school with a little more understanding of our furry friends and how we can protect them at home and in the wild.