Students ‘chews’ to scrape gum from Virginia Zoo grounds

NORFOLK, Va. – A group of local students and teachers helped the Virginia Zoo get out of a sticky situation.

On Tuesday, 22 students and five teachers from the Nansemond-Suffolk Academy volunteered to remove gum from the Zoo’s grounds. The group was able to remove more than 300 pieces of gum that were stuck to the ground near the Zoo’s ticket booths.

Along with scraping gum, the group also prepared crafts for the Zoo’s Party for the Planet event and made animal enrichment. The volunteer effort was a part of the school’s annual Day of Caring event, during which students to a variety of service projects in the community.

The Zoo says chewing gum is the world’s second most common form of litter after cigarette butts. In addition to gum being harmful to the environment, many animals cannot digest it, which can lead to a buildup of toxins in an animal’s system and may result in infection or death.