Denver Zoo animals blessed in ceremony celebrating wildlife

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Animals from the Denver Zoo were blessed on Sunday May 31, 2015 in a non-denominational ceremony. (Photo: Denver Zoo)

DENVER — Some of Denver Zoo’s animal residents were blessed in a non-denominational “Blessing of the Wild Animals” service at Montview Boulevard Presbyterian Church Sunday morning.

The ceremony was a community event meant to celebrate all life and all animals, honoring wild animals in particular.

Animals from the Zoo’s Education Collection were walked into the church by their handlers in a procession before being blessed as a group.

An opossum, tamandua (a genus of anteater) and a macaw were among the 10 animals blessed. The animals and their handlers remained after the ceremony to talk to the public and pose for pictures.

The church’s pastors, who seek to celebrate the animals’ wildness, hope to make this an annual event, according to Denver Zoo officials.

Though the service was based on similar ones in other parts of the country, the public was asked not to bring their own pets as they would have been disruptive to the Zoo’s animals, Zoo officials say.

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