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At the Pocatello Zoo, newspapers are a multi-use product. Not only do they supply the day’s current events but they also get a second life lining the enclosures of the Zoo’s education animals. Now, thanks to a local student the Zoo has about 365 days worth of newspapers.
As part of her 8th grade humanitarian project, Connor Academy Charter School student Leah Van Horn took it upon herself to gather up the newsprint for the Zoo’s animals. Enlisting the help of fellow students, friends, and family, Leah was able to take in box after box of the discarded dailies.
When asked why she chose this project, “My sister volunteers at the Zoo and I really like animals,” said Leah.
The next part of her project took the form of gathering a little cold, hard cash. Van Horn spearheaded a change drive at the school. Students were asked to give what they could and vote on which animals should receive the money. The black bears, Cooper and Roscoe, came out on top in the poll and will be the recipients of new Boomer Ball enrichment toys.
“I learned a lot with this project,” said Leah. “Even something simple can make a huge difference and it was neat to see everyone help out and do something for the community.”
Not stopping at gathering donations, Leah also spent plenty of hours at the Zoo. She also donated her time for events like “ZooBoo,” “A Beary Happy Birthday,” and “ZooSnooze.”
“We’d like to thank Leah for all her hard work and effort in helping improve the Pocatello Zoo,” said Cory Coffman, Curator of Education. “It’s because of volunteers like Leah that we are able to constantly improve the Pocatello Zoo for visitors and the animals.”
The bears will get their new toys Saturday, December 5 at the Zoo’s Wild Winter Weekends which runs from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.