Lake Superior Zoo, Duluth, Minnesota

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Zoo Crew we will miss you!
by Amy Christiansen, Zoo Crew Coordinator

If you have visited this summer you may have noticed a pack of teenagers in bright yellow shirts roaming zoo grounds with cleaning tools, handling animals in Griggs Learning Center, or providing you with interesting information at the exhibits. This amazing group of teenagers is the Zoo Crew, and they volunteer their summer to be here and help out at the Lake Superior Zoo.

Zoo Crew assists the keepers behind the scenes by helping to maintain a clean environment for the animals here at the Lake Superior Zoo. It takes a lot of work everyday to maintain even the smallest critters and this pack of helpful teens did so without complaint. Yet, it is not all cleaning for these volunteers; they fill a variety of roles while they are here. Over the 12 weeks the Zoo Crewers planted and maintained a green house full of fresh veggies for the animals, were citizen scientists and monitored Kingsbury Creek, helped to clear the trail for Run Like an Animal, assisted with Zoo-mobiles, and raised over $1,000 to donate to Bat Conservation International during Bat Week!

Zoo Crew made work fun by entertaining both themselves and the animals by making great enrichment toys. Enrichment is designed to stimulate the animal’s senses with things they are not usually exposed to in their exhibits. Be that a smell, a sound, an object, or food hidden away in toy. We had turtles playing soccer, birds in play boxes, ferrets in mazes, and tigers and bears smacking open piñatas. It was a very exciting experience for anyone who had the opportunity to observe.

It was rewarding to be the Zoo Crew Coordinator over the summer. Working with so many interesting, and innovative teenagers the summer went by in a flash. So let me be another one to say we will miss them through the long cold winter until they arrive again next summer!
If you are or know a committed teenager aged 13-17 and are interested in being a part of Zoo Crew next summer look at our website under Volunteers for more information.

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