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Brevard Zoo--World's Largest Community Build (1992) by Gloria Makowski


  I moved to Satellite Beach in June 1974. There was a business on New Haven that sold citrus and kept a few animals in the backyard - a tourist stop called Houser’s Zoo. I felt so sorry for an elephant with a chain around his back leg . The chain was tied to a stake in the ground. The poor animal had limited movement. A monkey with collar leash tied to a line that hung between two trees could just go back and forth. There were a few other animals - a really pathetic “Zoo.” When the owner died, a group formed to build a better Zoo. They had a fund-raiser in September 1991 which I attended.

In February - March 1992, I was on TDY in a shipyard in San Diego for 6 weeks. Upon my return I caught up with local news. Volunteers had started working to build the Zoo. More were needed. I volunteered on weekends starting April 4. I was given a hard hat and hammer and assigned to the children’s section. I banged nails in posts but mostly carried lumber, bricks, bags of nails that young children soaped and picked up trash.

When our work was done, there was a party for all the volunteers and we received T-shirts stating it was the largest community build Zoo in the world.

I've enjoyed visiting the Zoo and always take my northern visitors to see our marvelous Zoo. It keeps improving. I’m looking forward to hearing our speaker. I’ll wear my Zoo shirt that TMBC. (Jack Hanna autographed it a few years later at another fund raiser.) One of these days, I hope to take the Kayak ride around the Zoo.    Gloria




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