Fifth year of Just Zoo It is under way; winning class will get to go inside Bear Exhibit

Students from four counties will once again be collecting coins in their Just Zoo It! cans for the Delmarva Zoological Society this Halloween, and the class that raises the most money overall will be rewarded with a trip inside the Andean Bear exhibit.

Now in its fifth year, Just Zoo It! is a program run by the Delmarva Zoological Society to help raise money for capital improvement projects at the Salisbury Zoo. This year’s focus is on the Andean Bear exhibit, which now houses three bears with the birth of a cub last January. Alba has been a star at the Zoo since she first emerged for the public to meet her in late spring.

Elementary school students in participating public and private schools in Wicomico, Worcester, Dorchester and Somerset counties will each be getting a Just Zoo It! can, donated by Pepsi Bottling Ventures, which allows them to collect money and return it to their teacher at school.

The class that raises the most money from each county will be rewarded with a free, VIP trip to the Salisbury Zoo next spring, where they will enjoy a pizza party, a guided tour of the Zoo, t-shirts and special prizes, as well as the chance to meet Zookeepers and interact with some of the animals.

The class that raises the most money overall in four counties, will win the chance to become Bear Keepers for the Day and go inside the bear exhibit. They will learn how to prepare food for the Andean Bears, and a group photo will be taken inside the bear exhibit, a place that Zoo visitors never get to visit. They also will get a visit by a zookeeper to their classroom leading up to their visit to talk about the Andean Bears.

Cans will be distributed to schools during the last two weeks of October and need to be returned to their teachers on Nov. 6. Winners will be surprised in their classroom later in December.

If your school is not participating, extra cans can be picked up at the Salisbury Zoo and returned to the Zoo by November 6th or to any First Shore Federal location on the Shore.

Since the program started five years ago, DZS has raised more than $114,000 in nickels, dimes and quarters from area students. To learn more about DZS or the Just Zoo It! program, go to RenewTheZoo.com.

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