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Animals at the Philadelphia Zoo the latest beneficiaries of PECO’s tree trimming maintenance program

PHILADELPHIA The twigs, leaves and branches collected as part of PECO’s preventable tree trimming program are headed to the Philadelphia Zoo where they will now be devoured by giraffes and other animals.

PECO and the Philadelphia Zoo have launched a new initiative dubbed the Philadelphia Zoo Browse Program, where PECO provides the Zoo with weekly deliveries of leaves, twigs and branches – collectively referred to as ‘browse’. The trimmings will serve as a portion of the animal’s daily dietary selection, and offer substantial nutrients and a variation to their normal food options.


The kickoff event featured remarks from Craig Adams, president and CEO of PECO, and Dr. Andrew J. Baker, COO of Philadelphia Zoo. Following the announcement, both men fed the giraffes fresh browse delivered by PECO.

Philadelphia Zoo currently houses 330 species of animals 40 of which has browse formulated into their diet, ranging from the eight ounce degu to the 1,750 pound giraffe. Animals that benefit from browse are gazelles, kangaroos, tortoises and numerous primates including the gorillas.

Vegetation growth causes about one-third of all electric outages, and PECO’s comprehensive vegetation management program is vital to safely keeping the lights on for our customers. The partnership will allow PECO to ship browse weekly – of what would have previously been turned into mulch – to Philadelphia Zoo.

Currently, the Zoo receives its browse from multiple partners throughout the region, including the Zoo’s own browse farm, Variety Club Camp; and Koala Browse, a Florida-based farm.

As the only corporate browse-providing partner of Philadelphia Zoo, PECO has contracted with Asplundh Tree Expert Company and assigned a dedicated crew manager who will coordinate the browse cut and delivery for the Zoo.

“We’re looking forward to continuing our longstanding partnership with Philadelphia Zoo, one of the area’s foremost conservation organizations, through our new Browse Program,” said Adams. “When trees and branches come in contact with overhead powerlines, they can cause extended outages. Now, we are not only providing a benefit to our customers, we are also creating a positive impact for the animals at one of the region’s most premier attractions.”

Incorporating browse into animals’ diets provides additional nutritional value including fiber, protein, fat, vitamins and minerals. What’s more, browse allows the Zoo to offer foods that are more consistent with what animals would likely consume in the wild, which encourages natural behavior and provides organic enrichment as both mammals and reptiles eat the leaves, play with sticks, or peel bark off branches. Zoo animals experience healthier teeth and digestive tracts, improved cognitive function, increased activity levels, and enhanced overall wellbeing, as a result.

“We are happy to partner once again with PECO on the Zoo’s Browse Program,” says Vikram H. Dewan, president and CEO of Philadelphia Zoo. “Browse provides a valuable food supply for our animals by offering substantial nutrients, a high level of animal activity and a variation to their diets. It is a fantastic program and we are thankful to PECO for their participation.”

PECO has been a proud partner of Philadelphia Zoo since 1999 when they joined forces to create the reimagined PECO Primate Reserve, which shares stories of primates from around the world and helps spread the important message of how energy efficiency protects wildlife.

The PECO-Philadelphia Zoo partnership is just one of many steps PECO takes to give back to the community as a responsible corporate citizen. To learn more about PECO’s commitment to the communities it serves, visit www.peco.com/community.

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