Fences in the zoo turned green


Fences in the zoo turned green

Several of you have asked me why volunteers in the ZOO mostly paint fences during the Steelmakers for Košice event. The answer is very simple. It was provided by the director of the ZOO, Erich Kočner: "The fencing of the zoo area, which we are gradually replacing, is more than 10 km long and is the second longest fence in Slovakia after the Topoľčany Game Reserve. Right in the area we have walking trails about 8.5 km long and the total length of fences and fences inside the garden is about 10 km. Not all of them can be painted, some are nets, some are barriers...  Steel or iron structures must be regularly maintained, corrosion removed, painted. This is important because on corroded fences, animals on one side could be injured, but also, for example, children on the other side of the fence."

Can you imagine that length? If the painting started one day, it would take weeks for the "painters" to work their way to the end. A team of colleagues from the Košice ZOO carefully maps the fences and always selects those places where the fences need to be restored the most before our volunteer day.

Last Saturday, they prepared three workplaces for our volunteers. One was fencing around the penguins up to the paddocks for horses, the second group painted the fence in the upper part, near the meerkats, and the third group cleaned and painted the fences near the tent city, which is a popular place for the Night at the Zoo adventure event.

Looking at the incoming volunteers, we found that there are many "old" acquaintances among them who go to the zoo regularly. The division did not last long and Jozef Lenard, Alena Čičmancová and Peter Héžel from the Košice garden put together their groups and went to the stations.



Right at the first one, at the horse paddock, we found three familiar faces. "Yes, I'm one of those who come here regularly. We often go for walks with the children to the zoo. One of my children wants to become an animal caretaker in the future, so it is our duty to come to the volunteer event at the zoo. But we like to come here very much," Andrea Ábelová (left) told us.

One of the famous faces is Marta Oravcová (right), who is already retired, but will never miss our volunteer event.    As she told us, it is beautiful here, there is no lack of good mood or meetings with former colleagues. She goes to volunteer events together with her daughter Slávka Nahajová (in the photo on the right).

Marián Lipnický also goes to the zoo regularly: "I got used to them, when the children were still small, they came with me regularly. Now they don't have time anymore, so I was left alone. I couldn't miss this event."


On the way to our workplace, we met a group of volunteers, whom we asked what was their motivation to exchange, for example, a swimming pool for a job in a zoo and what location they work on (they answer from left to right).

Tomáš Sanislo: "I like to help. In addition, my son is a scholarship holder who is helped by U. S. Steel Košice in his studies. So today the whole family came to thank you for your help."

Adam Kiraľvarga:  "I also like to help And the zoo is very pleasant."

Tomáš Sanislo – scholarship holder: "U. S. Steel helps me, so I want to give something back, even in this way."

Martin Šima: "There is enough work here. We paint the old fencing. First, we sand it, and then we put a new coating. We work with penguins."

It was the fencing at the penguins that received a new coat of paint for the first time in 12 years. The Košice Zoo started breeding them thanks to the generous support of our society. Our volunteers have now also put their hand to the work and thanks to the support of the U. S. Steel Košice Foundation, they will continue to modernize the front wall of the breeding facility. The ugly, net fence will be replaced with a modern, glass one, so that visitors can better observe the life of these cute animals.


Throughout the morning, even the group that painted the fence around the tent city did not stop. We literally had to force them to have a moment to relax when we brought fresh coffee and delicious cakes, with which the Košice Zoo decided to treat the volunteers.

Peter Šoltis (pictured on the right) told us during the break: "I chose the zoo because I wanted to come with my family, i.e. my daughter and girlfriend. This is my first time at this event. However, I regularly go to the Metallurgical Drop of Blood. Next year, I would like to sign up for the Botanical Garden. Gradually, I plan to visit all the locations where the Metallurgists for Košice event takes place."

The employees of the Košice Zoo greatly appreciate the work of our volunteers.  "Your people know how to work, we see it every year,"  said Alena Čičmancová, the leader of the group that painted the fences around the ungulates.

Among those who like to lend a hand to the work is Katka Dittelová (pictured). In addition to the Metallurgists for Košice event, Katka also works as a volunteer during the International Peace Marathon.

It was very stuffy all day, a few drops of rain fell only when we were meeting for goulash on the terrace of U medveďa. Our volunteers had a unique opportunity to enjoy the view from the terrace into the bear enclosures, in which 9 of them currently live.  The smallest addition to this family - the teddy bear Artur - enjoyed the greatest popularity. It was especially liked by the children, who enjoyed a beautiful walk in the morning in the company of the scholarship holder Barborka Ľapinová.

We discussed our volunteer event with Erich Kočner and Eva Malešová for a while. Although the hot and sultry morning was not exactly ideal, we were both pleased with the job well done that was left behind by our people. Anyway, as always

As a thank you, all volunteers received a family ticket to the ZOO. "We will definitely come," they agreed as they left, "after all, we have to come and check if the paint holds well, or to show off to other family members the result of our work."

Photo: author, Peter Šoltis and scholarship holder Tomáš Takáč

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