Food for Zoo Animals Grown Locally and Harvested by Zoo Staff

Thanks to coordination by commissary team leader Mistie Hamilton, animals will have fresh browse all year long!

Cincinnati Zoo staff, including vets, horticulturists, keepers, interns, volunteers, and our nutritionist, harvested 82 boxes of browse at the Zoo’s Mast Farm earlier this week. The boxes will be frozen so animals can have fresh edible tree material “browse” in the winter. Plants like Hackberry, Olive, Elm, Pear, Grapevine, Sassafras, Mulberry, Birch and Hickory were harvested.


IMG_0936The Zoo collects fresh edible material to offer over the week plus some to freeze throughout the summer to build a supply for winter. The food will be used for hoofed animals, primates, bears, and various other animals.


IMG_0915We procure the very freshest whole foods for our animals. No zoo animals eat junk food or processed foods from a box that contains all sorts of impossible-to-comprehend additives. The Zoo’s Curator of Nutrition, Barbara Henry, keeps a close eye on everything our animals eat. We only harvest from certain places and we always know how the food was grown. Our animals eat better than most people do. If we won’t eat it, we won’t feed it! We challenge your family to #EatLikeAnAnimal one night this week!