Red River Zoo Calls in Reinforcements to Help With Snow in First Ever Shovelfest

Zoo staff have been shoveling 24/7 this winter


FARGO, N.D. —┬áSometimes there’s too much snow for the Red River Zoo to handle.

“It’s just almost backbreaking. Removing snow from the animal exhibits as well as along the pathways. The morale goes down because it seems endless,” said Sally Jacobson, executive director of the zoo.

Meaning it’s time to phone a friend or in this case, over 40 community members.

“I come out to the zoo as often as I can anyways so I figure why not help with what I can,” said Matthew Morrison, who’s volunteering to help out.

And it’s not just the arm strength they are asking for, it’s the extra tools, too.

“We’re running out of shovels. We’re asking everyone to bring their own shovel with them. We even have a gentlemen that came with some other snow removal equipment that will help take care of some snow in the back by the petting zoo,” Jacobson said.

Kids are even lending a hand while also learning an important lesson about the community they live in.

“Well of course volunteerism is important and it makes people feel more tied into their community and a little bit of hard work is good for everyone, right,” Jacobson said.

Something the zoo’s staff knows all too well after clearing the snow all season long so cold adapted species can still get some fresh air. But this snow hasn’t been a problem for everyone.

“The Red Pandas are super active this time of year, as well as our camels and our wolves I would say. And the otters are really adorable because they make little forts inside of all the snow so one of the things we’re doing today is get some of that snow out of that exhibit to make sure the animals will go in at night,” Jacobson said.

While it’s the zoo asking for help this time around, some say there’s always the chance to help make it a little easier for someone else to get through this Midwest winter.

“Just help out your neighbors or wherever you can. We’ve gotten a bunch of snow if anyone you know needs help with shoveling, just do it where you can,” Morrison said.

If you keep digging, you may even find spring.

If you were not able to make it to the Red River Zoo’s first ever Shovelfest, you can show up anytime to help move away the snow.

Categories: Community, Local News, Minnesota News, Moorhead, North Dakota News