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Helping Hands At The Zoo

April 25, 2014, 6:03 PM by Sammi Bjelland

Helping Hands At The Zoo
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

Harrisburg students found out what it's like to help others while having fun today.

A group of seventh graders got the chance to stop by the Great Plains Zoo, and clean up the homes of some four-legged residents.

It was a beautiful day to get outside and do some yard work. But these kids from Harrisburg South got to do their manual labor at the zoo.

"We raked a lot of the leaves. And now we're doing like the inner area," seventh grader Jared Inskeep said. 

"It's been a different experience. I don't think I've ever raked at the zoo, but it's new but it's nice to know that I cleaned a cage for an animal," seventh grader Ashley O'Connor said.

As part of their Community Service Day, the students helped clean up the areas inside and around the wallaby and red wolf exhibits.

Zookeeper Mickey Adams says getting the winter debris and leaves out of the way helps with the animals' demeanor.

"Digging up new scents helps keep them interested in everything that's going on around them. Also just to make everything look nice. They like a nice clean home, just like we like a nice clean home," Adams said. 

The extra hands also helps Adams out a lot.

"If they didn't come in to do it, it would probably take me about four hours to do. So having them do it in about 45 minutes was amazing," Adams said.

The kids say they were happy to help and look forward to doing it again some day.

"Yeah definitely. It's been a great experience," O'Connor said.

"It makes a big difference and it shows other people walking by how to do the right thing," Inskeep said.

Zoo officials say they are always looking for volunteers to help out. You can contact them for more information at (605) 367-7003.

You can also check out the Zoo's website.

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