Breakfast (and lunch and dinner!) is Served

Copy of Helarctos malayanas Palu“The animals eat better than I do!” is something you might hear around the Zoo, and it’s often true! The food that is served to the Zoo animals is restaurant/human-grade quality and delivered fresh each week.

Each animal – big, small, and every size in between – has a diet that is specially formulated just for them. To the right you’ll see sun bear Palu’s diet sheet. Notice that each food item is carefully measured out, down to the individual grapes!

In addition to many pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables, the Zoo animals go through 3000 superworms, 3500 mealworms, 500 rosie red minnows, and 7000 crickets every week, fish (mostly capelin and smelt, but also sometimes herring and spot), large amounts of alfalfa and grass hay, many different kinds of specialized pellets, and fresh meat.

About once a month special food items like air-popped popcorn, peanut butter, cereal, yogurt, and juice are purchased to be used in small amounts for training purposes. These special treats are great motivators! The orangutans in particular love peanut butter and jelly.

Some animals eat once a day, others twice, and some get small meals throughout the day. Animals like the zebras are given access to hay at all times since they are natural grazers.

Would you like a chance to see how our animals eat? Don’t miss Breakfast with the Animals on Saturday. This event is a rare opportunity to enjoy breakfast at the Zoo and then watch the animals eat their breakfast too! Zoo volunteers will also be at exhibits to dish out interesting animal facts during this once-a-year, exclusive members-only event.

Not a Zoo member? Join today!