Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Exploitation or an excellent idea?

Giraffes to help prune Hamilton's trees | Wednesday, 26 March 2008


TALL ORDER: Residents of Hamilton have been given the chance of feeding the giraffes at the Zoo - and getting rid of their tree prunings at the same time.

The giraffes are always hungry at Hamilton Zoo, and local residents are being given the chance to serve them up a treat.

Giraffes eat a range of tree branches which can be found in household gardens and Hamilton zoo-keepers have offered to prune suitable trees free of charge.

The giraffes preferred fodder includes Lemon wood, Coprosma, Feijoa, Red Robyn, Tree Lucerne and Ake ake.

Hamilton Zoo director Stephen Standley said that this was a great opportunity for local residents to contribute to the animal's diet while at the same time getting their pruning done for free.

"Tree branches or ‘browse' are a favourite treat of our giraffes and they offer numerous nutritional benefits. Because suitable browse is often sourced from common household trees, we are always interested to hear from members of the public ."

The long necked Africans might not be the only creature your household plants end up feeding, as the zoo's big cats will also benefit.

"Recycled browse is used to offer a new and intriguing scent for the cats," he said.


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