Salisbury Zoo To Host ‘Give A Hoot’ Benefit

SALISBURY – A fundraiser is expected to help the Salisbury Zoo raise money for a damaged owl habitat.

On Friday, the Salisbury Zoo will host its second annual Give a Hoot fundraiser, which will raise money for a new spectacled owl exhibit.

Mary Seemann, marketing development associate with the Salisbury Zoo, said park officials held an inaugural Give a Hoot fundraiser last year shortly after a tree fell onto the exhibit during a summer storm.

“Last July a big tree fell on the spectacled owl exhibit, so we decided spur of the moment to do a fundraiser,” she said.

Seemann said the first fundraiser featured food and beverages vendors and entertainment and garnered more than 400 attendees.

“We raised some good money,” she said, “but we needed more.”

While donations from last year’s event totaled more than $7,000, Seemann estimates the zoo would need an additional $10,000 to rebuild the spectacled owl exhibit. Until then, the owls have been relocated to a temporary holding area in the park.

“We have two spectacled owls and are looking to get more to be in a breeding situation, so we are looking to expand the exhibit more,” she said. “A couple of ideas are floating around, but what design we choose depends on how much money we get.”

In addition to food and beverage vendors, this year’s Give A Hoot Two will feature face painting and crafts, live music, education animal encounters and animal enrichment presentations.

“Our zookeepers will be doing animal enrichment activities throughout the evening,” Seemann said. “It’s something that people don’t see all the time at the zoo.”

While admission to the zoo remains free and open to the public, Seemann said donations will be collected throughout the evening’s festivities.

“You can just come and enjoy,” she said. “If you want to contribute, you can. It makes it open for anyone to participate.”

Seemann added the fundraiser will coincide with the zoo’s 4th Friday event, and the park will be open later to visitors.

“It’s a fun, free evening at the zoo,” she said.

Give a Hoot Two will take place Friday, Aug. 24, from 5-8 p.m. at the east entrance near the zoo stage.

For more information, or to donate, visit the event’s Facebook or GoFundMe pages. Mailed donations can be sent to the Delmarva Zoological Society, P.O. Box 4621, Salisbury, Md. 21803.

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.