Animal Feeding in the Zoo

Animals in zoos need a diverse range of food. 

A zoo needs to cater for:

  • herbivores (grass eaters such as rhinoceroses and tapirs);
  • folivores (foliage eaters such as giraffes); 
  • frugivores (fruit eaters such as lemurs); 
  • carnivores (meat eaters such as lions and lynxes); 
  • piscivores (fish eaters such as penguins); 
  • omnivores (all types of food eaters such as baboons); 
  • granivores (grain eaters such as weaver birds); 
  • insectivores (insect eaters such as anteaters); 
  • nectarivores (nectar eaters such as fruit bats); and so on.

For example, the Parc Zoologique de Paris – Zoological Park in Paris – in 2019 documented that in one year their animals consumed 450 kilos of insects, 24 tonnes of fish, 26 tonnes of meat (such as chicken, quail, rabbit, and beef), 58 tonnes of hay, 90 tonnes of alfalfa sprouts, over 100 tonnes of fruit (such as bananas, apples, pears, plums, watermelon, grapes, and mangoes), and over 100 tonnes of vegetables (such as carrots, celery, and lettuce). 

Other types of food include pellets, grains (such as oats and barley), eggs, nuts, and bamboo. 

Photographer: Martina Nicolls


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