Duluth Fire Department hoses repurposed into animal enrichment toys

A bear at the Lake Superior Zoo plays with an enrichment toy. Photo courtesy of Duluth Fire Department.  (Supplied)

The Duluth Fire Department takes decommissioned fire hoses and repurposes them into enrichment toys for the animals at the Lake Superior Zoo

The fire department says a hose can be decommissioned for a few reasons, like having an obvious defect, failing the annual pressure test or reaching the end of its life expectancy. 

"The Duluth Fire Department has found a way to keep decommissioned hose out of the landfill by repurposing it into animal enrichment toys! Even though it has reached the end of its illustrious ‘FIRE LIFE’, it can now start a new life helping to enrich the lives of the animals," the fire department said in a Facebook post Friday. 

The toys that have been made include small cubes, cube sausages, cube jacks, hanging hides, hammocks and small and large frame wooden beds, fire officials said. So far, the department has made about 15–16 toys for the animals at Lake Superior Zoo. 

Fire officials say the toys help the animals use their natural instincts to find food or do things they would do in the wild but can't do in a zoo, which helps their enrichment.