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Old fire hoses delight zoo animals

MFD donated old hoses for various animal exhibits

Thanks to a donation from the Madison Fire Department, the orangutans are having plenty of fun swinging from fire hoses.

The Madison Fire Department donated its old fire hoses to the Henry Vilas Zoo to be used for animal enrichment, according to a release. For the past six years, the department gives unusable hoses to the zoo.

"Every year, the Madison Fire Department evaluates its fire hoses to ensure they could tackle the city's biggest blazes on a moment's notice," the release said.

After years of use, the release said it's common for the hoses to develop pinholes or other deformities.

According to the release, fire hoses have proven to be an asset in zoos and in the wild. The Henry Vilas Zoo uses the hoses to build bridges and swings. With help from Hose2Habitat, a volunteer-run organization, the zookeepers were able to learn how to weave the hoses into perches, hammocks, feeders and toys.

The fire hoses replace old ropes and other less-durable materials in the zoo enclosures.

The zoo has used the hoses to make swings, slings and hammocks for the primate exhibits. The black-and-white ruffed lemurs, rock hyraxes, bison, red pandas, camels and badgers also benefit from the hoses turned into curtains, toys and browse feeders.

 

 


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