New mammal menus

Keepers have upped the daily diets for their ungulate and carnivore charges during the cold weather.

The winter months mean many of the mammals have to bulk up their weight to protect them from the chill.

unspecified_5Section Leader, Jay Haywood, said: “We’ve adjusted the daily portions for many of the animals and they’ll remain at this level until the weather starts getting warmer.

As part of the change, flake maize has been added into the giraffe diet to help build up their essential fats, while the otters are having increased portions, which include chicks, fish and soft meat, during their three meals a day to help the babies grow.

Meanwhile the site’s five sealions are bulking up their insulated fatty layer with extra sprats to protect them from the icy moat pools and red panda, Yasmin, is getting additional panda cake and pieces of her favourite fruit to maintain her energy levels.

Jay added: “Red pandas are most active in the winter, so need extra portions now, which we’ll reduce in the summer when she starts becoming more lethargic.

“We’ll know when it’s time to re-evaluate the diets of the section animals when they start eating less.”

As well as the dietary habits of all the animals across the 40-acre site being recorded on boards in section kitchens, DZG’s Registrar and Research Co-ordinator, Dr David Beeston, also receives copies off all the diet sheets, which he records on the Zoological Information System (ZIMS) – the online database of health and wellbeing of animals across the world.

Pictured above: Trainee Keeper, Josh Luxton, sorts out the new diet sheets with help from our Brazilian tapir.