St. Louis Zoo brings Halloween treats to children at Cardinal Glennon

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ST. LOUIS (KPLR) - Five year old Gavin Thompson has never been to the St. Louis Zoo, so Monday afternoon it came to him.

“What would you have liked to have seen today?” asks Nicole Thompson.

“A nice polar bear,” exclaims Gavin Thompson.

Polar bears excluded, there was a rabbit, an owl, and a soft chinchilla and a dove that children were able to touch.

As Halloween approaches, the annual Boo at the Zoo is in full swing, but for those who can't come out to see the animals up close, the zoo spent part of the day at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital.

“It’s just something that lifts their spirits and gets them in that mindset of being back with their friends and being back home,” says Damon Harbison, President & COO Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital. “Having the animals here is sort of a therapy.”

This Dexter, Missouri based family comes to Cardinal Glennon every week as Gavin gets treatment in his battle against lymphoblastic leukemia

While there were no tricks, just treats, it might be just what the doctor ordered.

“Many studies have shown and have for many years that the environment that kids are in, and adults as well, has something to do with the speed of healing,” says Harbison. “That's why we have so many fun things in our atrium like a bus, a train, a submarine or water walls and we continue that with the decor of the hospital.”

And in Monday’s case the warm furry creatures that brought part of the zoo with them.