Alaska Zoo in critical need of frozen fish donations
With stock levels low, the zoo is reaching out to the community for help
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Alaska Zoo put out a call for help Tuesday on social media, asking residents who might have some extra fish in their freezers to consider donating it.
Curator Sam Lavin said that while the zoo turns to the community occasionally for donations, it’s been a while since they’ve had to ask for frozen fish.
“Every year we get a lot of food donations from people in Alaska. We have a really supportive community,” Lavin said. “This year, we ran low on fish and our bears are not quite asleep yet, so we started to get a little worried because we started seeing the bottoms of our fish bins in the freezer.”
It’s the perfect opportunity for Alaskans to clean out their freezers after filling them up with this year’s salmon. The Alaska Zoo asks that the fish be no older than two years, sealed, unsmoked, and unseasoned. Any species of fish are accepted, as different animals consume different kinds including salmon, halibut, cod, and hooligan.
While the need for frozen fish is currently critical, the zoo does accept donations year-round.
“It’s a really big walk-in freezer and we’ve got space for all of it — like we will pile that fish to the ceiling and use it next summer,” Lavin stated. “We’re here 365 days a year, so if you want to drop fish on Christmas we will find it.”
According to Lavin, anything the zoo can’t use due to regulations won’t go to waste and will be set aside for Alaska mushers to use for their teams.
Donations can be dropped off inside a freezer located on the west side of the zoo’s parking lot near the greenhouse fence. Alaska Zoo employees take the donated fish to their main walk-in freezer multiple times a day. The gates to the parking lot are open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
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