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PECO and Philadelphia Zoo Launch ‘Browse’ Program

PHILADELPHIA (August 17, 2017) – Today, PECO and Philadelphia Zoo launched their latest endeavor: the Philadelphia Zoo Browse Program, where PECO will provide the Zoo with weekly deliveries of leaves, twigs and branches – collectively referred to as ‘browse’ – that were collected as part of PECO’s preventative tree trimming program. The trimmings will serve as a portion of the animal’s daily dietary selection, and offer substantial nutrients and a variation to their normal food options.

The kickoff event featured remarks from Craig Adams, president and CEO of PECO, and Dr. Andrew J. Baker, COO of Philadelphia Zoo. Following the press conference, both men fed the giraffes fresh browse delivered by PECO. Philadelphia Zoo currently houses 330 species of animals 40 species that have browse formulated into their diet, ranging from the 8 ounce degu to the 1,750 pound giraffe. Animals that benefit from browse are gazelles, kangaroos, tortoises and numerous primates including the gorillas.
Vegetation growth causes about one-third of all electric outages, and PECO’s comprehensive vegetation management program is vital to safely keeping the lights on for our customers. This partnership will allow PECO to ship browse weekly – of what would have previously been turned into mulch – to Philadelphia Zoo. Currently, the Zoo receives its browse from multiple partners throughout the region, including the Zoo’s own browse farm, Variety Club Camp; and Koala Browse, a Florida-based farm. As the only corporate browse-providing partner of Philadelphia Zoo, PECO has contracted with Asplundh Tree Expert Company and assigned a dedicated crew manager who will coordinate the browse cut and delivery for the Zoo.

“We’re looking forward to continuing our longstanding partnership with Philadelphia Zoo, one of the area’s foremost conservation organizations, through our new Browse Program,” said Adams. “When trees and branches come in contact with overhead powerlines, they can cause extended outages. Now, we are not only providing a benefit to our customers, we are also creating a positive impact for the animals at one of the region’s most premier attractions.”
Incorporating browse into animals’ diets provides additional nutritional value including fiber, protein, fat, vitamins and minerals. What’s more, browse allows the Zoo to offer foods that are more consistent with what animals would likely consume in the wild, which encourages natural behavior and provides organic enrichment as both mammals and reptiles eat the leaves, play with sticks, or peel bark off branches. Zoo animals experience healthier teeth and digestive tracts, improved cognitive function, increased activity levels, and enhanced overall wellbeing, as a result.

“We are happy to partner once again with PECO on the Zoo’s Browse Program,” says Vikram H. Dewan, president and CEO of Philadelphia Zoo. “Browse provides a valuable food supply for our animalsby offering substantial nutrients, a high level of animal activity and a variation to their diets. It is a fantastic program and we are thankful to PECO for their participation.”
PECO has been a proud partner of Philadelphia Zoo since 1999 when they joined forces to create the reimagined PECO Primate Reserve, which shares stories of primates from around the world and helps spread the important message of how energy efficiency protects wildlife. The PECO-Philadelphia Zoo partnership is just one of many steps PECO takes to give back to the community as a responsible corporate citizen. To learn more about PECO’s commitment to the communities it serves, visit www.peco.com/community.
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About PECO:
PECO, founded in 1881, is Pennsylvania’s largest electric and natural gas utility. Headquartered in Philadelphia, PECO delivers energy to more than 1.6 million electric customers and more than 516,000 natural gas customers in southeastern, Pennsylvania. The company’s 2,500 employees are dedicated to the safe and reliable delivery of electricity and natural gas as well as enhanced energy management conservation, environmental stewardship and community assistance. PECO was named 2017 Best Mid-size Employer in Philadelphia by Forbes Magazine. The company also has an estimated annual economic impact of $4.3 billion in Pennsylvania, supporting more than 8,700 local jobs and producing $732 million in labor income. PECO is a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), the nation's only Fortune 100 utility and leading competitive energy provider. For more information visit PECO.com, and connect with the company on Facebook and Twitter.

About Philadelphia Zoo:
Animals are on the move like never before at Philadelphia Zoo with Zoo360, a first-in-the-world system of see-through trails passing through treetops, crossing over pathways and connecting habitats, giving animals like amazing big cats, majestic primates and marvelous meerkats the opportunities to travel and explore. Visit our new baby western lowland gorilla, giraffes, hippos, polar bear, white rhino, zebras, red pandas, Amur tigers and more at America’s first Zoo. Explore a 42 acre Victorian garden and enjoy award-winning exhibits like KeyBank Big Cat Falls, PECO Primate Reserve, McNeil Avian Center and KidZooU, a wildlife academy that offers dynamic displays, rare breeds and hands-on experiences. Philadelphia Zoo is the second highest ticketed attraction in Philadelphia, one of the region's foremost conservation organizations and home to nearly 1,300 animals, many rare and endangered. By connecting people with wildlife, Philadelphia Zoo creates joyful discovery and inspires action for animals and habitats. The Zoo welcomed more than 1.25 million visitors last year. Philadelphia Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. For more information on Philadelphia Zoo, as well as to purchase and print tickets online, visit us at www.PhiladelphiaZoo.org. Facebook: PhiladelphiaZoo; Instagram: @philadelphiazoo; Twitter: @phillyzoo. Philadelphia Zoo is a non-smoking facility.