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Zoo uses donated items for animal enrichment

December 25, 2017 GMT

The Gladys Porter Zoo has an easy and fun way to engage in something often mentioned as admirable, and of which more is always needed: giving back to the community.

In this case, the community is the animals at Gladys Porter Zoo.

The zoo needs and always accepts donations of unsalted and low-sugar snack ingredients such as old-fashioned oatmeal, peanut butter, honey, seeds and peanuts, dried fruit and nuts, and low-sugar cereals. Barbecue sauce, mustard and ketchup also are useful.

Zoo personnel use the human foods as ingredients for treats for the animals, said Cynthia Garza-Galvan, GPZ director of marketing.

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The zoo held its annual Holiday Cheer Animal Play Day on Sunday, when zookeepers and animal enrichment team members showered the animals with gifts fashioned from the donated items and invited the public to come along.

“We make all kinds of stuff for the animals, and we’re always needing something,” Garza-Galvan said. “We have to think of things for the birds, the mammals, the reptiles, so it’s a continual thing.”

A list of things to donate is posted on the GPZ Facebook page. Food and pantry items need to be new and unopened. Other things ranging from paint brushes, paints and canvasses to empty beer kegs and lumber also are needed, Garza-Galvan said.

A more complete version of this story is available on www.myBrownsvilleHerald.com