Pecky Eaters

Chef Yohn is on vacation this week, but that doesn’t mean the work in the Diet Kitchen stops. The animals need to eat, so Sous Chef James has stepped in to make sure all of the animals’ daily diets are sliced, diced and ready to go. Taking on this responsibility also means creating this month’s Animeals, which was specially chosen for two of our Southern cassowaries, Elgie and Hallagar.

Guests can find Elgie and Hallagar in Asia – Trail of the Tiger in between the moon bear and binturong exhibits. The pair are separated during meals, which gave Sous Chef James the opportunity to customize their meals with their favorite treats, among their daily recommended diet, of course.

Both Animeals included a block of ice with grapes, honeydew and cantaloupe frozen inside, as well as some extra pieces of fruit on the outside. Additionally, the flightless birds were given hard-boiled eggs, which for Elgie were the best part of the entire meal. Hallagar immediately went in for some pecks at his favorite food, grapes, and avoided the eggs altogether.

While skeptical at first, both cassowaries enjoyed their meals all day long. As the ice melted in what is hopefully the last summer of the summer heat, new snacks were revealed for the birds to munch on. This Animeals was made on the fly, but was nevertheless a delicious treat for the ratites. Take a look at the video of Elgie and Hallagar encountering and eating their Animeals!