New commercial freezer is enhancing animal welfare

ROYAL OAK, Mich., January 28, 2014 – Things are freezing at the Detroit Zoo, but not only because of the polar vortex. Thanks to the generosity of a Zoo supporter, a cool way of enhancing animal welfare has arrived in the form of a brand new commercial freezer.

The freezer has tripled the Zoo's capacity to preserve and store "browse" – leaves, twigs and vegetation – resulting in greater quantities for the animals to munch on during the winter months.

"Many of our animals eat vegetation as part of their natural diet, and this freezer enables us to provide these natural items when they would not normally be available," said Director of Animal Welfare Stephanie Allard.

Steve Lemieux, president and CEO of SRC Refrigeration in Sterling Heights and a Detroit Zoo member, provided the freezer – which was made in Michigan – at a deep discount.

The frozen browse was harvested on Detroit Zoo grounds in the fall and packaged with the help of students from Madonna University as part of a class that involves assisting with animal welfare projects at the Zoo.

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