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Campers support otter habitat

Chuck Frantz brought his top campers to the East Allen Township Board of Supervisors meeting Sept. 12.

Frantz runs the township’s summer day camp. This year, the camp filled up early with 150 campers.

“Every year, we collect money from the campers and their parents and present it to the Lehigh Valley Zoo. We helped build the giraffe exhibit, and last year, we dedicated a bench in front of the giraffe exhibit. When we went to the zoo this year, we got a chance to sit on our bench. Our donations this year are going to improving the otter habitat,” Frantz said.

Nancy McCullar, a representative from the zoo, attended the meeting to accept the check. As McCullar explained, the otter exhibit has been around for a long time with the goal to increase the population of North American river otters. The breed was once a common sight, but otters disappeared as rivers urbanized. The otters are notoriously difficult to breed outside their natural environment.

“What we want to do with the new site is to make the environment more like a river environment in the hopes that our otters will breed,” McCullar said.

The zoo’s otters, Naya and Luani, are star attractions.

“People love to watch them and their antics,” she said.

Additions to the site will include a larger habitat and more locations where visitors can watch the otters. The goal is to get the pair mating and increase the population.

The two top fundraisers for this year were Ava Daptula and Treyven Rivas. Ava said her secret to success was hitting up her dad for spare change.

Rachel Frackenthall, head camp counselor, thanked the township, counselors, campers and their parents for the successful summer.

In related news, the township declared Oct. 31 as the official trick-or-treat night. This is a change from prior years.

Supervisors looked at the township budget, examining shortfalls and surpluses as they prepare for 2019. Chairman Roger Unangst set a clear parameter that he did not want to see any tax increases.

Township Manager Brent Green is reviewing a request from residents asking for streets to be closed during block parties. There is agreement among the supervisors that block parties are an essential part of the community and quality of life. Green is going to look at setting up criteria for closing streets. Under the existing rules, local streets can be cordoned off for block parties, but cars can still use the roadway.

Rachel Frackenthall, camp counselor, and Brent Green, township manager, give a campaign check to Nancy McCullar to improve the Lehigh Valley Zoo's otter habitat during the Sept. 12 East Allen Township Board of Supervisors meeting. Campers present are Jacxen Anderson, Ava Daptula, Treyven Rivas, Austin DeLong and Devin Kurtz.PRESS PHOTOS BY PAUL CMIL