Recently voted Best Zoo and America’s Top Free Attraction, the Saint Louis Zoo is dedicated to connecting people to animals. Annually, approximately 3 million visitors get the opportunity to experience 16,000+ animals in the Zoo’s care; many of them are rare and endangered. The Zoo is renowned for its innovative approaches to animal management, wildlife conservation, research and education. And as a free zoo, visitors are encouraged to come back again…and again!
At the Zoo, the staff in the Orthwein Animal Nutrition Center work hard to make sure the animals eat well. It takes as many as 24 man hours per day to prepare and deliver the bulk foods and special diets needed throughout the Saint Louis Zoo.
Some facts about the food prep
- The building is situated partially underground to assist in all-season temperature regulation.
- Every month, the Nutrition department distributes 46,000 pounds of hay 14,000 pounds of fresh produce and 17,000 pounds of fish and meat.
- Among the more exotic menu items are night crawlers and the larvae of flies and mosquitoes.
- The Nutrition Center keeper moves 700 tons of food per year ( which is equal to 170 male hippos).
- They stock a variety of fish and seafood including herring, mackerel, capelin, smelt, squid, shrimp and krill.
- Capelin, a kind of fish, is caught only during a short window of time from late June to early August. The Zoo purchases its annual supply of approximately 100,000 pounds at this time.
- Indoor silos keep our bulk feed in a regulated environment reducing the risk of molding due to constant temperature and humidity fluctuations present in traditional outdoor silos.
- Four out of five volunteers at the Nutrition Center are engineers.
- Primates (including humans) and guinea pigs share a dietary need for vitamin C, all other species can synthesize their own.
My Daughter Charlotte loves just about all animals and loves the St Louis Zoo. The St Louis Zoo has over 16,000 animals and is largely supported by donations in order to keep it open to the community at no cost. As you can see they provide good quality food through donations. Feeding the animals has always been a big task, and they need financial support to help take care of them!
So Charlotte asked me if we could donate, and I told her we could, and because she wants to make videos, I told her that we could also create a campaign to maybe raise some money to help! So if you’re interested in helping, we would love your support!