More veg, anyone?

It’s World Vegetarian Month and from great apes to the smallest critters in the Discovery Centre, many of DZG’s animals enjoy a healthy, balanced veggie diet containing the freshest fruit and vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains and pulses we can source.

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From celery, pepper, cauliflower and green beans, not forgetting the apples, oranges, bananas, pears and tomatoes, our hoofed stock, birds, primates, reptiles and critters definitely consume their recommended five a day!

Every day DZG’s storemen Bill Newton and Shaun Cherrington – pictured – prepare, on average, 22kg cabbage, 24kg carrots, six cauliflower, 4kg onions, 12kg potatoes, six cucumbers, 25 lettuce and 1kg swede for the zoo’s vegetarian species.

That’s in addition to 3kg of oranges, 15 kg bananas, 3kg pears and 5kg tomatoes, which are aportioned and delivered to section kitchens across the 40-acre site.

Curator Matt Lewis, said: “We have more than 200 species at DZG and many of them have a vegetarian diet, so it’s important to make sure all the fruit and vegetables we feed them is fresh and healthy which is why we only buy seasonal vegetables, sourced as locally as possible.

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“In addition to the weekly deliveries to the stores, keepers also regularly go out themselves and buy the more unusual vegetables from the market to treat their section animals with, such as fennel, spring onions, aubergines, courgettes, parsnips and of course, sprouts at Christmas!”