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Used General Motors fire hoses repurposed to provide enrichment for animals at zoo in Michigan

Posted at 11:22 AM, Jan 25, 2021

DETROIT, Mich. — It's not trash if you find a way to make it a treasure. Used General Motors fire hoses are now providing enrichment for animals at Lansing's Potter Park Zoo.

According to a press release, the automaker's Flint Metal Center gave 1,500 feet of used facility fire hoses to the Zoo, which is being repurposed as toys for monkeys, tigers and river otters.

Since the hoses are reportedly required to be replaced every five years if they have not been flushed with water, General Motors staff found a way to give them new life.

This year's donation is part of an ongoing relationship between the plant and the Lansing zoo, which began in 2015.

“The fire hose we get from Flint is the perfect size for us. We often braid the fire hoses into different shapes and tuck food inside for the animals to pull out,” said Annie Marcum, lead zookeeper of the zoo’s carnivore and primate area, in a press release.

Marcum said in the release that enrichment for the animals is important because it allows them to exhibit natural behaviors.

The hoses will be made to create food toys for the otter tank and rope swings, vines and puzzle feeders for the spider monkeys.

This story was first published by WXYZ in Detroit, Michigan.