Zoo Sells Reindeer-Dung Necklaces for the Holidays

Local zoo promotes crappy presents

By Matt Bartosik
|  Wednesday, Nov 25, 2009  |  Updated 2:21 PM EDT
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Santa's elves aren't the only ones making presents this year. It appears his reindeer are helping too, in their own special way.

Last year, the Miller Park Zoo in Bloomington debuted Christmas tree ornaments made from dried reindeer dung.

Volunteers dehydrated and sterilized the dime-sized droppings and then spray-painted them with glitter. Strung on a wire with beads, the crappy crafts projects were called "Magical Reindeer Gems."

Think the idea stinks? Think again. News of the "number two" ornaments went nationwide, and the Zoo gift shop had trouble keeping up with demand.

In fact, many customers wanted a more personal touch.

"We kept hearing from people who were buying the ornaments, 'Do you have any jewelry?'" said Susie Ohley, spokeswoman for the Zoo, reports Pantagraph.com.

So this year, the Miller Park Zoo will offer limited-edition Magical Reindeer Gem necklaces.

"It may be silly, but it not only brings in money and support to the zoo, (but) it brings people smiles," said Ohley.

The Zoo has apparently sniffed out a great revenue source. Ohley estimates they'll could make $16,500 from the ornaments and necklaces.

The ornaments are already up for sale: $7.50 at the gift shop (1020 S Morris Ave) or $10 by mail.

The limited-edition necklaces will go on sale Friday for $15 at the gift shop or $20 by mail.

This holiday season, you really can give a crap.

Matt Bartosik is a Chicago native and a social media sovereign.

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