Glad You Asked: What do animals eat at the Racine Zoo?

Glad You Asked: What do animals eat at the Racine Zoo?


Monday morning we answered one of the most frequently asked questions the zookeepers get at the Racine Zoo: What do the animals eat?

Glad You Asked!

"Our animals all have specified diets depending on the type of animal it is." said Racine Zoo primary giraffe keeper Lorie Wynn. "We have a commissary keeper that comes in and makes each diet."

That's 550 different meal plans to feed each animal at the zoo. The zookeepers try to get close to what they'd eat in the wild.

"Depending on the animal, we'll try to mirror that." said Wynn. "So these guys get as much brows as they'll eat all summer long. Then we freeze a bunch of brows all winter to be able to feed it throughout the winter. But the main portion of their diet is the alfalfa. That's the bulk."

Giraffes are browsers. That means they eat from the trees (from the neighbors' trees now and then too). Their diet consists of leaves.

Other animals, like the zebras are grazers; they eat off the ground.

We got a peek inside the kitchen as a tray of food was headed out. Sometimes the veggies the other animals get are cooked, some are raw but the meat is always raw. And for anything that is missing, they get supplements, just like us.

"The penguins are on a multi-vitamin, like a...penguin multi-vitamin." said Wynn.

Have a curious question you'd like answered on the next Glad You Asked? Ask away! If you've always wondered about something ask Mike Curkov on his Facebook page, on Twitter or email him at [email protected]

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