Absorbine Volunteer Days – Forest Park Zoo

Honoring the values of our founders, Mary Ida and Wilbur Young, and continuing the Absorbine® legacy of compassion for horses and animals, in 2017 we’re sending all employees out to volunteer at an animal welfare charity of their choice. It wasn’t very hard to pitch this initiative – “You say we have to take a day off to go on an Absorbine® volunteer days adventure at an animal rescue? Well twist our arms!!”

Mara and Debbie volunteer for a day at the Forest Park Zoo in Springfield, Massachusetts. The zoo, not part of the city’s park program, is solely funded by volunteers, sponsors, entrance fees and generous donations.

Absorbine Volunteer Days Forest Park


Arriving at the zoo, we were met with the raucous sounds of the residents.  The wolves were howling, the peacocks were making tons of noise, the rooster was crowing and the monkey was swinging.  The zoo animals are very active in the morning.

Wouldn’t want that to happen, now would we?

Wolves were howling

Peacocks were making peacock noises

The rooster was crowing

The monkeys were swinging

The lemurs were leeming

Our task for the day was to spread mulch around the property and plant bulbs, as the zoo was opening for the season in 2 days.  I started to mulch, while Debbie planted tulip bulbs.

Our supervisor was this awesome white peacock, who would follow me around whenever I went!

“Back to work!”

“I’m still watching you!”

As the day progressed, the sun came out and it became very humid.  The animals all became very quiet as they went into “rest” mode.

After eating, it’s time for a kangaroo nap

All but the Raven.  This raven was raised from a baby in one of the zoo keeper’s homes.  This raven was trained to speak.  So, we’d be mulching around his cage and he would say “hey you” – “come here”.  It was awesome!

“Why does everyone call me Polly?”

We took breaks, as the humidity increased.  There was a LOT of mulch to spread!

Debbie and her rooster friend

Tamarins don’t care


We met with Nick Kinsman (Membership & Annual Giving Manager) to begin our volunteer day at the zoo. “The animals are waiting for the warmer weather to roll in, but other than that we are working hard and loving it!  Just over 150 animals, of 80 species, including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and arthropods call The Zoo home.”

Nick Kinsman, Membership & Annual Giving Manager


For me it was like stepping back in time. As a child my family often visited the Forest Park Zoo. I hadn’t visited the zoo in many years. I loved all of the animals but was never a big fan of the monkeys. I actually have a fear of monkeys. We spent some time spreading mulch around the spider monkey enclosure which was a little scary for me. To my surprise this animal was beautiful to watch swinging from the ropes in the massive enclosure. The end of the day came and we felt great that we were able to beautify the zoo and help out this wonderful “hidden gem” in Springfield, Mass.

Look at that scary face!




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