Local Zoo Needs Help to Stay Afloat This Year - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Local Zoo Needs Help to Stay Afloat This Year

Erin Breen
Channel 2 News

The Sierra Safari Zoo north of Reno has just welcomed it's newest arrival. She's an eight-month-old rarity, all right - a liger. Her father is a lion and her mother a tiger and there are only 20 of them in the U.S. right now. In fact, she's so new she hasn't even been named yet.

But she already fitting in with the zoo's 150 animals. "She's a sweetheart. She was bottle raised and she really wants to play. Eventually she'll be in a cage with other tigers but for now she's just getting settled in," says Jane Kisiel of the Sierra Safari Zoo.

She was a donation from the Chicago area and she's expected to help boost zoo visitors this summer. "We had a lot of people come just so see Hobbs, our liger that passed away a few years back and we're hoping she'll bring people in as well," Kisiel adds.

The zoo operates on admission fees, donations and volunteers. And this economy is making survival tough. Feeding and housing 150 animals adds up quickly to an estimated $60,000 a year. And this year times are tight. "Our winter food drive is slow. I mean really slow!" Kisiel says. "If we don't get some donations in this winter we could have to close. It's bad!"

They need hay, straw, laundry detergent, bird seed and help with their $1,300 monthly power bill. Money fits all their needs and volunteers are always welcome.

The Sierra Safari Zoo is located at 10200 North Virginia Street. You can reach them at 677-1101.

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