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Zoo Needs Help To Satisfy Jumbo Appetites

Zoo Needs Help To Satisfy Jumbo Appetites

Auckland Zoo is seeking public support to help it satisfy the appetites of its elephants Kashin and Burma, who would love to get their teeth into more bamboo, sugar cane, banana palm and willow plants.

The two female elephants, who weigh in at 3.2 tonne and 3 tonne respectively, each grind their way through approximately 100kg of fresh browse a day, but the zoo’s supplies are currently a little low.

“Our girls love these fresh and leafy plants, as long as they have not been sprayed. If people do have bamboo, sugar cane, banana palm or willow that they would be happy to cut and deliver to the zoo, we would love to hear from them,” says Auckland Zoo elephant section team leader, Andrew Coers.

“It’s a great way to save money, and at the same time make two elephants very happy. Once eaten, the broken down browse also goes back to help the environment – as elephant poo is one of the key ingredients in ZooDoo fertiliser, processed on site here at the zoo.”

People who are keen to help should phone 09 360 3800 during office hours only (Monday – Friday, 8.30am to 5pm, excluding public holidays). The browse does need to be freshly cut, and the zoo requires people to ring prior to cutting and dropping off, to check that it is required on the day they phone. Elephant keeping staff stress that if your call is not returned within a day, it is likely that the zoo has enough browse for the time being.

“It’s quite difficult for us to gauge the response we will get, so we really thank people in advance for their patience with this, and for taking the time and effort to help us out,” says Mr Coers.


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