ASHEBORO, N.C.--Girl Scout Troup 083 of Winston-Salem went behind the scenes at the North Carolina Zoo on Saturday, April 10, and came face-to-face with the zoo's newest celebrities-two 11-month-old giraffes that arrived at the zoo last month.

The scouts were at the park working on the coveted Girl Scout Bronze Award, the highest award that can be earned by Junior Girl Scouts.

On their off-exhibit tour, they fed twigs and leaves to all five of the zoo's giraffes. Later, the girls pushed up their sleeves and got down to the real business that brought them into the barn-an hour-long session of cleaning the giraffe stalls.

Already experienced in caring for horses, the scouts dug right in and had the floors swept and cleaned in record time. The cleaning and feeding session came about as part of the work toward earning their award.

In addition to their volunteer work at the zoo, the troop raised $1,000 that was given as a donation to the N.C. Zoo Society. The donation will be used to improve the care of giraffes at the park. Currently, the zoo is building a feeding station where visitors can purchase browse materials (leaves and twigs) that can be hand-fed to the giraffes.

The Zoo Society is also raising money to improve the giraffe barn, the zoo's oldest barn.

The N.C. Zoo Society is the private, non-profit organization that raises money for the zoo and its programs. The N.C. Zoo is an agency of the N.C. Department of Environment & Natural Resources, Dee A. Freeman, Secretary; Beverly E. Perdue, Governor.