CTEC students create feeding box prototype for new Fresno Chaffee Zoo exhibit

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A group of high school students are teaming up with the Fresno Chaffee Zoo for a new exhibit.

Career Technical Education Charter students have been hard at work for the past few weeks. They're creating a prototype feeding box for the new tiger exhibit.

The ten automated feeding boxes will be hidden inside the rock work and part of the Kingdoms of Asia exhibit.

"What we're struggling with is how to make that box happen, so the students they're figuring that out for us," said Nicole Pressley with the Fresno Chaffee Zoo.

The feeder will be able to control when the boxes open by using an app.

"They can open all of the boxes, one of the boxes it just depends on how much we want to open," Pressley added. "That will encourage a little bit of exercise for the tiger as he gets up from his naps and searches for food and is using his sense."

The box will allow visitors to see the natural behaviors of the tiger, but making that happen is no easy task.

"I've learned the process that goes into making a machine for animals and how serious it is because the animal's life is in your hands," said Asia Baylas, a student at CTEC.

Once the prototype is complete they'll work on building the boxes over the next three months.

"We've been in our construction and manufacturing classes learning these 3d programs and stuff like that," said Elijah Castro-James, a student at CTEC. "Putting that all into practice and working on this prototype not only is it helping us now when it comes to this project, but also it's going to help us in the long run when it comes to joining the industry."

A separate group of students will also be building a new tortoise barn and fence line for the tortoise exhibit in the coming weeks.
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