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Embattled zoo finds a little angel

FRESNO, Calif., Dec. 25 (UPI) -- A 9-year-old California girl is being credited with saving Fresno's decaying Chaffee Zoo, once considered among the best in the United States.

Angel Arellano lived up to her name, rallying the community to donate more than $37,000 to the zoo in the month since her hand-written plea was printed in the Fresno Bee, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.

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"My name is Angel and I am 9. I heard that the Chaffee Zoo is having money problems. I am very worried for the animals. I think if everybody in Fresno gave $1 to the Chaffee Zoo it would help a lot. Here's my dollar," her letter read.

The zoo's lion died of cancer and a hippo succumbed to old age. The gorilla and polar bear had to be relocated due to sub-par living conditions, the Times said.

But until Angel's plea, the community did not seem to be interested in supporting the zoo. Now schools are holding fundraisers and donations are arriving daily, the Times reported.

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