Toledo Zoo announces tribute to fallen Mich. boy

The Toledo Zoo announced late Tuesday a plan to honor Nicholas Allore, the young boy from Michigan who died while visiting the zoo on a school field trip.

The zoo will place a wrought iron bench with a commemorative plaque near Phase 2 of the new elephant exhibit, which is scheduled to open in late spring 2012.

Shortly after Allore died of a previously undetected heart condition, thousands of area residents took to Facebook and asked the zoo to name the new baby elephant "Nick" as a tribute.

The zoo said the family preferred the commemorative bench.

"His parents told us they can envision coming to the Zoo and resting on Nicholas' bench while watching the elephants and remembering their son," Dr. Anne Baker, Toledo Zoo Executive Director, said in a news release. "While this tribute could not come under sadder circumstances, we hope to provide a special place where Nicholas' family and loved ones can share happy memories of a young boy who was taken much too soon."

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