Zoo receives donation from lemonade stand proceeds

By Tom Lehman 7:07pm, July 19, 2013 - Updated 10:36pm, July 19, 2013
VIDEO: Gene Peacock, director at the Brandywine Zoo, discusses community support for the zoo and the process to determine whether the monkey house can be repaired.
Zookeepers at the Brandywine Zoo received a donation from two boys from Brandywine Hundred intended to help efforts to reconstruct the Monkey House after it was damaged by a fallen tree last week.

WDEL's Tom Lehman has more:

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Seven-year-old Jared DeStafney stopped by the zoo Friday afternoon toting an orange juice bottle filled with $300 in cash and change. He and 10-year-old Ryder Hickey collected at a lemonade stand earlier this week once they learned a 36,000 pound tree had crashed into the primate's habitat.

"I was hoping it could help save the monkey house," said DeStafney after he gave the cash to Brandywine Zoo staff.

The zoo's director, Gene Peacock said the process for exploring the feasibility of repairs to the monkey house is underway. In the meantime, he said all donations are welcome.

" worked a period of two or three days basically around the clock taking care of monkeys, so we've had all kinds of help," Peacock says. "All of it is appreciated, even the words of encouragement."

Peacock said the age of the monkey house necessitates environmental testing and a contractor will have to make the building safe for an engineer to inspect the structure. That analysis will help zoo staff understand the amount of damage that occurred when the large tree toppled onto the building.

That process will take "a couple of weeks," he said.

Numerous primates have been displaced because of the damage to the monkey house.

Peacock says the Philadelphia Zoo and Elmwood Park Zoo in Pennsylvania have each taken in two pairs of monkeys. The Brandywine Zoo is currently holding 14 to 16 monkeys and staff members are considering how to place them in better housing and exhibit space so they can be displayed again late in the summer or in the fall.

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