Monday, March 17, 2008

Dirty Hippies Force Captive Animals to Diet!

Some damn, dirty hippie has decided that the bears in the zoo are too fat, and he's putting them on a diet!

True story:

Jennifer Watts, staff nutritionist at Chicago's Brookfield Zoo, is designing "a Weight-Watchers"-style points program for the animals, allowing them 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." The 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 wolves deer roadkill. 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 one on-staff, while many others use them as outside consultants. Previous 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 certain 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 a bear veggie-burgers and tofu-bars is a bit hippy-dippy by my standards.

© C Harris Lynn, 2008

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