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Mill Mountain Zoo celebrates 65th anniversary by honoring men, women in uniform

The zoo gave free admission to first responders, military members to celebrate.

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ROANOKE, Va. – Mill Mountain Zoo had an extra reason to celebrate Tuesday. The zoo is celebrating its 65th anniversary here in the Roanoke Valley.

To honor the Fourth of July, the zoo allowed all firefighters, members of the military, police officers and first responders into the zoo for free. And, of course, the zoo celebrated the massive milestone with a birthday cake.

"We couldn't be happier to be here for this long and to serve the community and also to help conservation. It's a great opportunity for all of us," said Bill Baker, co-director of Mill Mountain Zoo. 

Baker says the zoo is in an exciting transition period, bringing in more animals reflective of species you find here, like raccoons, river otters and bears.