SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) — Beer and animal lovers came together on Saturday at the Zoo in Forest Park for the 5th annual ‘Brew at the Zoo’ event.

This 21-and-up event was created to raise money for the Zoo drawing on both beer fanatics and animal lovers. From 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., people sampled craft beer from local breweries and interacted with animals. There was even a homebrew competition where participants could vote for their favorite home brews. This event was closed to the public and tickets needed to be purchased in advance.

22News spoke with the Executive Director of the Zoo at Forest Park, Sarah Tsitso about how important the success of Saturday’s event is, “This is our biggest fundraiser of the year and it’s really important for us to have a successful ‘Brew at the Zoo’. We are open to our animals 365 days a year, so even in the off-season when we are closed to guests, we are here taking care of the animals.”

The Zoo is focused on education, conservation, and rehabilitation. They provide homes to animals that may not otherwise survive in the wild.

All money raised goes toward the daily care of the more than 225 animals that call the Zoo their home.

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