The Zoo Screams Boo!


Every year, the Erie Zoo holds an event called “Zoo Boo” for people of all ages to have some Halloween fun. Around 5,000 people attended the kick-off last year. It’s a chance for kids to dress up in their Halloween costumes and trick-or-treat around the Erie Zoo. This fundraiser is one of the zoo’s biggest because it helps pay to feed the animals during winter.

Zoo Boo is an awesome way to get community volunteer hours or just help out the zoo. There are around 90 volunteers needed every night to accomplish Zoo Boo. Amy Heisler, off-grounds coordinator at the zoo, urges students to volunteer for the event. “We need as much help as we can get! Please volunteer!”

The zoo cannot do this event without the aid of volunteers. Set up alone can take up to a month, and the rides come in a little later, not to mention the thousand and thousands of pieces of candy handed out each year. Some of the jobs volunteers may fulfil include working at the candy booths, doing crafts, face painting, giving temporary tattoos, dressing up as an animal, or encouraging kids to have fun on the dance floor.

So what does it take to apply? There is an application online and a mandatory training that can take one to two hours. For returning volunteers, there is a one hour review training. The applications were due by September 26, but will be accepted beyond the deadline. Once volunteers are chosen, they can pick their preferred jobs and a schedule that works for them.

Zoo Boo runs from Friday, October 13 through the 30, 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. every night. On Saturday October 21, Zoo Boo will begin at 2 p.m. and continue until 5 p.m.

Zoo Boo takes place regardless of weather. “This is my eighth Zoo Boo. We have fun during rain or shine, and it is rarely warm, so please wear layers! I have only seen this event be canceled once or maybe twice due to weather conditions,” stated Heisler.
Overall, Zoo Boo is a great experience for all ages, and a great place to gain some volunteer experience.

If you are interested in volunteering, visit the Erie Zoo’s website and download their 2017 Zoo Boo application or stop in the guidance office.