• Nancy Connor used “every penny” of her stimulus check to turn her front yard into a stuffed animal zoo.
  • Connor said she built the zoo to bring some much-needed happiness to her community, and people seem to love it.
  • The zoo will remain open through October, Connor says, and she’s still accepting donations to help make it even bigger.

What did you do with your coronavirus stimulus check? Maybe you paid some bills or stocked up on food. Maybe you stuck it in savings (like I should have done), or treated yourself to a big purchase to pull you out of the lockdown funk. Well, whatever you did with the cash, you didn’t spend it as wisely as 86-year-old Nancy Connor.

Connor, who lives in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, used her check to bring some much-needed joy to the world and turned her entire front yard into a stuffed animal “zoo.” It’s probably the best thing you’re going to see today.

As local NBC affiliate WJAR reports, the 86-year-old has a whole menagerie of fluffy wildlife ready for a visit from anyone who wants to stop by. There’s a lion, tiger, giraffe, zebra, and several other adorable stuff animals just hanging out and bringing smiles to passersby.

As for the current state of the country, with the lockdown and social distancing and health crisis, Connor is taking things in stride and offering some perspective.

“I went through World War II which was tough but it’s nothing like what’s happening now everything is so sad,” Connor told the news outlet. “People are walking up and down the street looking very sad and I thought well what can I do? I’m handicapped. I can’t go out there and do anything, but people love animals.”

She’s right, and her neighbors and others seem to love what she’s done with her place. With a makeshift sign welcoming everyone to the zoo, her yard has become quite the attraction. “Many, many they come every day,” Connor said. “They come by, they walk and point, and the kids smile it’s worth all the effort I’ve put into it because everybody looks happy that comes by.”

The zoo will remain “open” through October, Connor says, but it might grow considerably between now and then. She’s currently accepting donations in the form of stuffed animals to be added to the collection, giving people a reason to regularly stop by and see what new creatures have appeared.

With talk of a second stimulus check potentially on the horizon, we can only imagine how many more animals may find homes in Connor’s front yard. The grass is already looking somewhat crowded, but there’s definitely still room for at least a few more stuffed beasts.

Mike Wehner has reported on technology and video games for the past decade, covering breaking news and trends in VR, wearables, smartphones, and future tech. Most recently, Mike served as Tech Editor at The Daily Dot, and has been featured in USA Today, Time.com, and countless other web and print outlets. His love of reporting is second only to his gaming addiction.