Local NewsInflation’s overlooked victims hungry for a break

Inflation’s overlooked victims hungry for a break

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Inflation isn’t just hitting consumers; it’s hitting critters as well.

At the Stone Zoo in Stoneham and Franklin Park Zoo in Boston, the price of food alone for the animals has increased by $30,000, or 30%, over the last year, said Cynthia Mead, executive vice president of external affairs and programming for Zoo New England, the nonprofit that runs both zoos.

“Here at Zoo New England, the health and welfare of our animals is at the core of our organization,” Mead said. “While the cost of food is increasing, all of our animals have very specialized diets to ensure they receive the essential nutrients they require. As such, we do not substitute their food with any less nutritious alternatives even though they may be cheaper.”

At the Animal Rescue League of Boston, shelter animals are fed donated dry Hills Science Diet food, ARL spokesman Mike DeFina said.

But the league has held a few food donation drives for wet food it delivers to pet owners in need and uses to put in traps to catch cats, spay or neuter them, give them vaccinations and, in the case of friendly ones, put them up for adoption, DeFina said.

“In order to meet this demand, ARL has continued to rely on the generosity of individuals for donations. Whether it be financial or food and supplies, the need for such donations is more important than ever.”

The New England Aquarium said it has seen costs increase across the board, “from the cost of food for our animals to the price of utilities, like steam, which heats our exhibits,” said aquarium spokeswoman Pam Bechtold Snyder.

“Our top priority is always to provide excellent care for our animals, and rising prices will not compromise that care,” she added. “As a nonprofit, ongoing philanthropic support from donors allows us to devote increased resources to advancing our ocean conservation work.”

A recent poll found that 40% of Americans feel rising prices, especially for gas, is their biggest worry. Guns, abortion and other hot stories all come in far behind.

A viral video from a Japanese news network shows penguins at the Hakone-en Aquarium refusing to eat a cheaper fish than what is normally given, the New York Post reports.

It’s just turning out to be a summer when everyone is burning through their checkbooks.

BOSTON, MA - July 8:  A young girl checks out one of the Harbor Seals as it swims in a tank outside the New England Aquarium on July 8, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Staff Photo By Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)BOSTON, MA – July 8: A young girl checks out one of the Harbor Seals as it swims in a tank outside the New England Aquarium on July 8, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Staff Photo By Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald) BOSTON, MA - July 8: Zoey Haynes 2 of Auburn checks out one of the Harbor Seals as it swims in a tank outside the New England Aquarium on July 8, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Staff Photo By Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)BOSTON, MA – July 8: Zoey Haynes 2 of Auburn checks out one of the Harbor Seals as it swims in a tank outside the New England Aquarium on July 8, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Staff Photo By Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald) BOSTON, MA - July 8: Zoey Haynes 2 and Liam Boyd 7 of Auburn check out one of the Harbor Seals as it swims in a tank outside the New England Aquarium on July 8, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Staff Photo By Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)BOSTON, MA – July 8: Zoey Haynes 2 and Liam Boyd 7 of Auburn check out one of the Harbor Seals as it swims in a tank outside the New England Aquarium on July 8, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Staff Photo By Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

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