MILWAUKEE -- It's a once a year opportunity, but the benefits will continue long after the event is over. A special ride at the Milwaukee County Zoo was held Sunday, Sept. 8.
Lions, tigers and bears, oh ride... through the trail at the Milwaukee County Zoo. Riders got a different perspective of the wildlife.
"We rode 10 miles today," said Keith Nowak, a participant.
"It was awesome," said 12-year-old Tyler Kyne. "The animals were up. You could see them."
For many, the excitement was hard to tame.
"It was great, it was phenomenal," said Kurt Gerner, a participant. "The kids enjoyed."
Seeing the remarkable creatures was a fun time for a good cause.
"The animals are all cool and interesting," said Kyne. "It feels good to give to the zoo."
The ride on the wild side is a major fundraiser for the Zoological Society.
"It's a big deal because the Zoological Society, we are a non-profit organization, so all of those dollars really help us with our mission," said Katie Krecklow, communications coordinator for the Zoological Society. "Our mission is conservation, education and support of the Milwaukee County Zoo."
Krecklow says the money raised during this fundraiser and others allows the zoo to concentrate on the animals in various ways.
"The Society sells the Zoo Pass, so that raises millions of dollars for the zoo every single year," said Krecklow. "They can be used for the upkeep, zoo exhibits, it can help feed the animals, it can help with zookeepers, things like that."
A good time was had both inside and outside of the grounds.
"There's a bean bag toss, there's crafts, there's face painting, there's temporary tattoos," said Krecklow.
It was a day of laughter, learning and laps.
"It's really a great thing to have these opportunities," said Gerner.
Last year, Ride on the Wild Side raised more than $30,000. This year, with about 700 riders registered, they're hoping to reach the same goal. For ways you can donate to the Zoological Society, click HERE.