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Zoo news: Cleanup continues following thunderstorm
zoo slt cleanup
A truck filled with tree limbs is seen behind a barrier of yellow tape, Wednesday at Brit Spaugh Zoo. Last Thursdays storm did extensive damage to trees. Cleanup continues. - photo by Susan Thacker/Great Bend Tribune

The effects of last week’s thunderstorm can still be seen at Great Bend’s Brit Spaugh Zoo.
Director Scott Gregory closed the zoo the morning after the June 27 storm, as volunteers and city employees started the cleanup. He said there was extensive damage to trees, but the animals were safe and their enclosures were not damaged.
“We lost about four or five trees out here – big cottonwoods,” Gregory said. A couple of fences were also knocked down. The zoo reopened the following day, but piles of downed tree limbs are still a common sight, and strips of yellow tape warn the public away from hazard areas.
Meanwhile, visitors to the zoo are enjoying seeing their favorite animals, and some new additions at the reptile display. Look for Jamaican boas, a green tree python, king snakes and rat snakes.
The Aquarium House has three new amphibians – two amphiumas and a greater siren.
Zoo volunteers are an active group with room for more, Gregory said. In addition to cleanup, organizers are looking for “anyone who might be interested in the challenge of creating an enrichment that the black bears won’t destroy in less than five minutes.” For more information, contact Zoo Curator Marge Bowen by calling 620-793-4226 or e-mailing
Bowen’s e-mail address is also the place to go to request her monthly news report on raptor rehabilitation at the zoo. This month, she reminds homeowners that summer heat can be stressful on all animals. “If you have bird baths in your yard make sure to replenish with cool water,” Bowen advises.