Unique Eagle Scout Project Creates Better Home for Animals at the Zoo

Xavier M. developed an Eagle project that constructed hammocks for gorillas, chimpanzees and a cheetah at the Biopark’s Rio Grande Zoo. Photo credit: KRQE

A young man with a passion for helping animals came up with a novel idea to make living conditions for animals at the Albuquerque Biopark Zoo more comfortable. The idea popped into his head during a recent trip to the San Diego Zoo.

“[He is] an amazing young man, great leader,” said Assistant Scoutmaster Eddie Vargas to KRQE.

Xavier M., a Scout in the Great Southwest Council,  spearheaded an Eagle Scout project that constructed hammocks out of discarded fire hoses for gorillas, chimpanzees and a cheetah at the Biopark’s Rio Grande Zoo.

“I’ve always liked animals, I’ve always liked to go to the zoo, I’ve always liked monkeys and stuff,” Xavier explained.

Xavier’s dad, Chris, says they used to go to the zoo “all the time” when he was younger.

“He saw that the apes were playing on these rubber hammocks so he asked about them and they said they’re made out of recycled fire hose so he said ‘I want to do that for the Albuquerque zoo,'” Chris said.

The Scout teamed up with Biopark to determine what the animals needed and worked with local engineers to ensure proper design.

“I’m so proud it makes me want to cry cause he warms my heart daily,” said Xavier’s mom, Angela.

Several Fire Departments donated fire hoses to help make Xavier’s Eagle Scout project a reality.

The Scout is thankful for the help and donations from his community and says he hopes the animals will enjoy his project.

“We have plenty of volunteers, we have people working together and it’s just amazing to see all this and I’m excited to see what they’re going to be like at the zoo,” Xavier said.

To learn more about Xavier’s Eagle Scout project, visit


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Hayley Cordaro is a communications specialist at the Boy Scouts of America. She loves sharing inspiring success stories and uncovering new ways volunteers and employees can make the most of their Scouting experience. If you have story ideas or questions, reach out to us at