Palm Beach Zoo Spirit Stronger Than Wilma - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Palm Beach Zoo Spirit Stronger Than Wilma


October 31, 2005


The Palm Beach Zoo is reeling once again from the overwhelming wrath of a hurricane's fury. Eerie and unwanted reminders of last year's historic month of storms are evident more so than ever throughout the park. Destroyed exhibits, giant fallen signature trees, endless debris littering all walkways; "Wilma" was unrelenting.  She left the nationally recognized Zoo more extensively damaged than the furious sisters from last year, Frances and Jeanne.  


Dr. Terry L. Maple, new Zoo President & CEO said, "The Palm Beach Zoo has a heroic staff that took extraordinary measures to prepare for this storm.  However, the older exhibits and several other areas of the Zoo have been severely impacted by "Wilma".  Even the best preparations were no match for her strength.  We need the support of many guardian angels this time to help us rebuild our damaged Zoo now.


Zoo officials are appealing for volunteers (must be 18 or older,) to help with debris removal and general clean up. Volunteers are needed between 9am - 4pm and should report to the brown Administrative trailer at the Zoo parking lot. Volunteers should:


  • Be 18 years of age or older - sorry, no exceptions
  • Come dressed for physical work - lots of raking, sweeping and/or some lifting
  • Must wear closed-toe shoes
  • Bring work gloves if possible
  • Rakes, push brooms and wheel barrels would be welcomed
  • All volunteers are required to check-in at the brown Administrative trailer

Last year, over 600 local residents from all walks of life gave of their time and effort to help the Zoo return to operating status.


Financial contributions would be welcomed and should be made payable to The Palm Beach Zoo and mailed to the Zoo at 1301 Summit Blvd., West Palm Beach, FL 33405.


Animal preparations were lead by Keith Lovett, Director of Living Collections.  Keith was just interviewed by CNN Headline News regarding the process of hurricane preparation for a zoo. The extraordinary zoo staff worked around the clock to secure animals and property. Because of past experience and learned lessons, the 1000+ animal collection has faired well with 95% of them thriving in an outdoor environment once again.


Contact Information:

Palm Beach Zoo at Dreher Park

1301 Summit Blvd.

West Palm Beach, FL 33405

(561) 722-1535


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