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Northwest Ohio neighborhood creates stuffed animal zoo

Zoos are just one of the many things closed because of the Coronavirus pandemic. But when you can’t go to the zoo, bring the zoo to you.

OREGON, Ohio — On a beautiful day like Sunday it would be perfect for a stroll around the Toledo Zoo. But since we can’t do that right now, families in one Oregon neighborhood made their own zoo with hundreds of furry friends. Lions and tigers and bears, and oh my was it cute!

Moms Kelsey DePompei and Jaime Taylor wanted to find a way to entertain their little ones during this time. Their kids love the zoo so they got creative. What started as an idea turned into over half the neighborhood making zoos of their own.

"Our go-to is going outside, we told the girls, 'hey, we are going outside today and there is going to be a zoo out there.' They got so excited!" said Jaime Taylor.

Credit: WTOL

“They were having fun yelling across the street to the neighborhood kids and waving. Every house was a big surprise. All the setups were completely unique so it was a like a brand new zoo every house we went to,” said Kelsey DePompei.

This neighborhood isn’t monkeying around. The people here are serious about their animal exhibits!

They even have some special animals you won’t find at your local zoo. A unicorn and Pegasus! And you don’t have to bundle up to visit their polar penguins.

Credit: WTOL

During this time, a sense of normalcy, if only for a little, makes a world of difference.

“It warmed my heart because they don’t know what’s going on, they don’t understand we can't see Grammy and Poppa. I want them to remember during these crazy times when they look back on it that although it was difficult for adults and older kids that we still made sure they had the best time possible," said Jaime Taylor.

Who would have thought, stuffed animals would be what brought this neighborhood closer together.

Credit: WTOL

"Even after we were done, we had our back door open and to see families coming by and the smiles on everyone’s faces felt good that for everyone in our neighborhood that we gave them a piece of normalcy. I think that's what we need right now,” said Kelsey DePompei.

Until the zoo is open back up they had a blast taking a walk on the wild side around their own neighborhood.

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