Even though it’s triple digits, Tucson Electric Power’s Fabrication/Weld team is already in the spirit of giving, recently delivering their latest creations for Reid Park Zoo’s annual holiday event

The team has been crafting animal sculptures made of steel for ZooLights holiday night events for the past five years, taking on a new challenge this year. A suspended sloth and an anteater now join the ranks previous creations, including African cranes, an alligator, a giraffe and a hippo.

Each year when the zoo sends a list of animals on its wish list, the TEP team carefully selects the ones that inspire them the most. Arron Porter, Transmission and Distribution Manager, explained that the fabrication artists were particularly drawn to the sloth. Hanging from a tree, it presented a unique creative challenge. And let’s not forget the sloth’s natural smile, which they were determined to replicate in their sculpture.

“We really appreciate the opportunity to support the zoo,” Porter. “We always strive to produce something that will enhance the event and that they’ll be proud to display.”

“The artistry of the TEP Fabrication team in developing these amazing metal light sculptures always amazes and we look forward to their creations each year,” said Deborah Carr, Reid Park Zoo’s Director of Marketing and Communications. “These pieces are always showstoppers, adding extra sparkle and uniqueness to our ZooLights and other events. Our guests love them and it really helps us stretch our events budget by providing custom and sustainable pieces that would otherwise be very expensive for us to purchase.”

The new metal mammals, created from one-quarter-inch round steel bar, have been delivered to the zoo in plenty of time to captivate visitors.

ZooLights features thousands of colorful lights and displays spaced throughout the Zoo, along with festive entertainment, visits with Santa and holiday activities. This year’s event will run Dec. 2-23 with Encore Nights on Dec. 26-Jan. 6. In addition, the sloth sculpture comes just as the Zoo is preparing to welcome a new Linne’s two-toed sloth in August to its South America Loop.

“All of us at the Zoo are extremely grateful to TEP for their sponsorship of ZooLights and their wonderful support of the Zoo in so many ways,” Carr said.

Sometimes, the sculptures make early appearances, like at Boo at the Zoo for Halloween time. So, be on the lookout this fall.

See you at Zoo Lights!

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