Pose with the PSB Lion at ZooBoo


By Heather Cass
Publications & Design Coordinator, Penn State Behrend

My first job after graduating from college was working in the public relations department at the Erie Zoo.  I worked for Scott Mitchell, known around the Erie area as the ZooGuy.  (By the way, Scott, who is now the President and CEO of the Erie Zoological Society, is a Penn State Behrend alum — Class of 1984!).

As you might expect, every day at the zoo brought something different. I aquired lots and lots of unique skills and knowledge in the four years I worked there.

For example: I know exactly how to pick up an alligator without getting bit.  I know that the foulest smelling (and most stupid) animal on earth is the giraffe. I can stuff at least 2,000 plastic Easter eggs in a day. I can set up 200 chairs in less than an hour. And, I can make a scarecrow out of scrap materials in minutes.

So when I read in a recent Erie Zoo newsletter that they were inviting area organization and businesses to create a scarecrow to display at ZooBoo (the zoo’s annual evening Halloween event), I begged my boss to let me make one for Penn State Behrend. (Go ahead, ask him, he’ll tell you that I begged).

Lest you think the staff of the Office of Marketing Communication spend their days building scarecrows, I should tell you that a coworker, Jodi Herman, and I built this cute little cub after work in less than an hour with materials I had laying around.  (Yeah, I’m that good at scarecrow construction.)

What do you think?

scarecrow with sign

Snap a pix with the PSB scarecrow

If you’re going to ZooBoo with your little boos and ghouls (see, writing clever puns is yet another skill I learned at the zoo!), be sure to look for the Penn State Behrend lion scarecrow. And, if you gather round, take a photo, and send it to us via email (hjc13 at psu.edu) or post it on social media with the hashtag #behrendscarecrow, we’ll put together an album to showcase our Penn State Behrend scarecrow pride (You know a group of lions is a pride, right?)  and share it with everyone.

lion pose

About ZooBoo

ZooBoo is the Erie Zoo’s annual Halloween event and a rare chance to see the zoo after 5 p.m. There are trick-or-treat boooooths (*groan* I know, but I. Just. Can’t. Stop.) for kids 12 and under and Halloween decorations and lights strewn through the zoo grounds.  This year, ZooBoo opens on Friday, October 18th and runs through Wednesday, October 30th from 6 to 9 p.m. nightly.

A few insider tips:

  • Save yourself some time waiting in line and pick your tickets up in advance at the zoo office (423 W. 38th St. next to the zoo) or buy online then you can enter the advance line near the stage (no waiting!). You can even buy your train & carousel tickets in advance!
  • Don’t go right at 6, go at 7 or 7:30 and you’ll miss the big crowds.
  • Ride the train first…most people ride it at the end and the line gets looooong at the end of the night.
  • Expect some animal changes. The orangutans and a few other animals won’t be out (they do not like their sleepy-time schedules messed with), but the big cats will likely be up and moving around — they’re nocturnal animals and they really “come alive” after dark.
  • This might be obvious, but…if you don’t like crowds, opt for a less-than-perfect-weather night. ZooBoo is open every night until Oct. 30, rain, shine, sleet or snow. Also, weeknights — particularly Mon.-Wed. — tend to have lower attendance.
  • On busy nights, the back gate — off Glenwood Park Ave. — is often open.

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