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Giraffes eye local trees for treats

Giraffes eye local trees for treats

26 MARCH 2008

For Immediate Release

Hamilton Zoo is offering Hamiltonians the opportunity to have their trees pruned free of charge while providing tasty fare for its resident giraffes.

Giraffes feast on a range of branches from trees common to local gardens and upon invitation, Hamilton Zoo staff will visit individual residences to prune suitable tree branches at no cost to the resident in exchange for taking these as food for the giraffes.

Typical trees that giraffes consume include Pitisporiums (Lemon Wood), Coprosma, Feijoa, Red Robyn, Tree Lucerne and AkeAke.

Hamilton Zoo director Stephen Standley says that residents have an ideal opportunity to not only get their trees pruned at no cost but also have a tangible input into the enrichment programme for giraffes and other resident animals at the zoo.

“Tree branches or ‘browse’ are a favourite treat of our giraffes and they offer numerous nutritional benefits. Because suitable browse is often sourced from common household trees, we are always interested to hear from members of the public who are happy to contribute to our giraffes’ menu.

“As well as being a firm culinary favourite, browse also features significantly in our animal enrichment programmes that aim to improve the life experience and entertainment for zoo animals. We use browse to feed the giraffes during keeper talks and our big cat population also benefit. Recycled browse is used to offer a new and intriguing scent for the cats.”

Any residents who wish to have Hamilton Zoo prune their trees at no cost and contribute the branches to the zoo residents, should call 07 838 6720 or 021 224 5017, or email: zooinfo@hcc.govt.nz . Any unsuitable browse will not be pruned by Hamilton Zoo.


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