- Associated Press - Sunday, December 14, 2014

ROBBINSVILLE, N.J. (AP) - Nearly 4,000 feet of defective fire hose will soon become toys for animals at a popular New Jersey theme park.

Six Flags Great Adventure officials tell The Times of Trenton (https://bit.ly/12OjEo8) that the hose donated by the Robbinsville Fire Department will be used to create swings, perches and balls for its safari animals, including African elephants, lions, tigers, baboons and birds.

Fire department officials say they were looking for “creative ways” to dispose of the hose, instead of just throwing it out in the trash. So they reached out to Hose2Habitat, a Maryland-based nonprofit that partners fire departments with zoos and animal sanctuaries to recycle surplus hose into habitat enrichment.

Officials say the hose’s industrial-strength material is good for animals to chew, scratch, walk, swing, rest and play on. Some zoos have fashioned them into hammocks, balls and climbing ladders

Department officials initially planned to give the hose to a zoo, but that deal fell through. They then contacted Six Flags, which gladly accepted the offer.

“We’re happy that it was put to a good, second use,” Deputy Chief Dan Schaffener told the newspaper.

Schaffener said the department was left with the hose after metal couplings were removed from it and sent to a vendor, who reinstalled the couplings on new hose.

Great Adventure spokeswoman Kaitlyn Turi said the donated hose was a first for the park in Jackson Township.

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Information from: The (Trenton, N.J.) Times, https://www.nj.com/times

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