By Ron Matz

BALTIMORE (WJZ)—It’s a big day at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore. Thanks to CBS Eco Media, Elephant Insurance services and WJZ-TV, some new energy efficient lighting has been installed.

Ron Matz has more on a brighter day for the giraffes at the zoo.

Everyone loves the giraffes at the Maryland Zoo. They’re 16 feet tall, but their home is nearly 50 years old. Zoo CEO Don Hutchinson says a make-over is underway.

“The giraffe house was built in 1966,” Hutchinson said. “We’re in the business of re-building this zoo, but in some cases it means renovating old facilities, and that’s what we’ve done with the giraffe house.

“We’ve put about $150,000 into the giraffe house a year ago, but we didn’t have enough money to address some of the lighting issues. This grant we’ve received through the cooperation of Elephant Auto Insurance, CBS Eco Media and WJZ allows us to come in and put in these LEDs.”

That’s changed with the cutting of a green ribbon, celebrating the installation of new energy efficient LED lighting.

“The new lighting changes the whole lighting in this barn. It benefits the animals, the visitors and particularly benefits the keepers who take care of the animals. It’s a nice initiative, a nice grant for us to receive and it’s a good partnership,” Hutchinson said.

The public-private partnership includes WJZ-TV, Elephant Insurance and CBS Eco Media.

“At WJZ we take great pride in what we call our community commitment; it’s an ongoing effort in everything we do to try to support the people, places and things that make our city great, the greatest city in America,” said Jay Newman, vice president and general manager of WJZ-TV. “This partnership with the zoo and the good work that Don and his team has done, and Elephant Insurance fits right in with making us proud to be part of Baltimore and connecting WJZ with the great things that are happening at the Maryland Zoo and throughout our area.”

“This means so much to us. It’s incredibly gratifying work when we can bring corporations together with communities,” said Paul Polizzotto, president of CBS Eco Media.

“We’re investing all the time in media trying to attract customers. We can take a piece of that investment and give it back to the community. In this particular instance we’re giving back to the Maryland Zoo,” said Kevin Chidwick, CEO Elephant Insurance.

With 18 inch tongues, they eat a lot. Now they’ll be able to see that food and their home a lot better

“It’s a super way of making a small difference. This lighting they’ve put in today will mean it’s both eco friendly and will save some real money. For the zoo that’s extremely important,” Chidwick said.

It’s a brighter day at the Maryland Zoo for everyone.

The retro-fit includes updated lighting for zoo keeper service areas. The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore was founded in 1876 and is the third oldest zoo in the United States.


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