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Deadly Attack Leads to Positive Changes at Zoo Boise

Published on June 12, 2013 by Tiffany Coleman

(BOISE) When Zoo Boise lost one of its prized monkeys due to an intruder’s deadly attack in October, its leaders had a decision to make. Keep Incus, the remaining patas monkey, and bring in another monkey to keep him company, or send him to live at a different zoo. Since monkeys are social animals who need companionship, leaving Incus alone in his habitat for long was not an option.

This female patas monkey is one of two new residents at Zoo Boise.

The decision makers at Zoo Boise reacted quickly. Instead of losing both patas monkeys, two new ones were moved in from New York State. Now two females, DJ and Kibibi, live with Incus, and they are a little squished in their current habitat. The close quarters led Zoo Boise to make yet another decision: expand the habitat to give them lots of room. The expansion project has Broadview University answering the call.

Every quarter, Broadview University adjunct instructor Gary Heller takes his Biology class to the zoo. Normally it only costs students $3.50 to go to the zoo. For the past two quarters, students, instructors and staff members have been paying $10 instead. All money above the admission fee has been donated to help expand the exhibit. Over the past two quarters Broadview University has donated $217 for the expansion.

For the past two years, Gary Heller has taken Biology students to Zoo Boise as part of their expanded classroom learning. It was Heller’s idea to help raise money for the monkey house expansion project.

“Since Zoo Boise has done so much for our Biology and veterinary technology students over the past two years, I really wanted to do something to give back,” Heller says. “This was a way to do that.”

The Boise campus was not the only one eager to help the zoo. People all over the Treasure Valley flooded the Zoo with donations. As a result, the financial goal was reached sooner than expected, and now plans to create a 1,000-square-foot indoor space and a larger space on the lagoon outside are in the works.

“The zoo is very grateful for Broadview’s help in donating money to build a new habitat,” Liz Littman, Zoo Boise’s director of development and communication, said. “The loss of the patas monkey, Cratey, was difficult and unsettling for the zoo staff and volunteers, as well as for many in the local community. The outpouring of support we received has been incredible and helped us all get through this. With your help we are turning this tragic event into something positive that zoo visitors will be able to enjoy for years to come.”

Broadview University’s name will now go on a permanent plaque that will be displayed on the new exhibit once it is built.

 

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