Monday, March 17, 2008

Dirty Hippies Force Captive Animals to Diet!

Some damn, dirty hippies have decided that zoo animals are too fat, and are putting them on a diet!

True stories, all:

  • Jennifer Watts, staff nutritionist at Chicago's Brookfield Zoo, is designing "a Weight-Watchers"-style points program for the animals, allowing them only a few extra points each week, to keep them from developing "love handles."
  • Keepers at the Indianapolis Zoo are feeding their bears sugar-free Jell-O instead of the real stuff. Other treats in use at zoos around the country and elsewhere include salt-free crackers, and alfalfa-enriched "biscuits." These filthy hippies hide the snacks in the animals' enclosures, forcing them to locate them on their own!
  • The Toledo Zoo has taken a far healthier and more natural approach, feeding their large cats whole calf carcasses, and their wolves roadkill (deer). This forces the animals to expend energy, and exercise to eat -- much as they would in the wild.
Zoo nutritionists first started appearing the 1970s-80s, and now several have at least one on-staff, while many other zoos use them as outside consultants.  Prior to this, many captive animals had a menu not dissimilar to that of your basic housepet or livestock, which often resulted in malnutrition.  Of course, as one expert pointed-out, the zookeepers cannot exactly duplicate the animals' natural diet, so these steps are needed to make sure they get the proper nutrition.

While a valid science, and a necessary one for many zoos and animals, feeding bears veggie-burgers and tofu-bars is a bit hippy-dippy, if you ask me!

© C Harris Lynn, 2008

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