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Zoos forage for food to help feed their animals

SHOTLIST:RESTRICTION SUMMARY:ASSOCIATED PRESSSan Francisco - 28 September 20221. Close up KoalaHEADLINE: Zoos forage for food to help feed their animals2. Various foraging for eucalyptus leaves in city parksCAPTION: San Francisco Zoo staff regularly searches city parks for eucalyptus plants.3. SOUNDBITE (English) Jorge Trujillo, Horticulturist, San Francisco Zoo:"Sometimes we struggle very much, especially in the winter. It's kind of difficult to find that eucalyptus. In the summer, it's a little easier to find it."4. Trujillo loading up eucalyptus branches into truck5. Trujillo unloading eucalyptus branches at zoo6. Fresh eucalyptus plant offered to koala+++SOUNDBITE PARTIALLY COVERED+++7. SOUNDBITE (English) Ross Anthold, Animal Care Specialist, San Francisco Zoo:"So eucalyptus is the only thing that they eat. It is their sole diet. But what a lot of people don't know, it's also where they get their water from. So most of the eucalyptus have between 40 to 70% water in the leaves. So a truly healthy koala will not need to drink from a water source. So we are very lucky here at San Francisco. Eucalyptus is a fast-growing tree, so around westward expansion in the gold rush, it was brought in thinking it would be great to help with the housing boom. However, it's a really horrible tree to build stuff out of. So it was just left to grow feral here in San Francisco and it is all over. So it makes it much more financially possible for us to raise koalas here at this zoo. That's one of the limiting factors with having koalas is just how much they eat because since they only eat that new growth, there's you offered them a lot and they eat very little of it. So it's a huge financial output if you live in a place that eucalyptus does not grow abundantly."8. Various koalas in zoo exhibitASSOCIATED PRESSOakland, California - 27 September 20229. Various tree-trimming company cutting acacia limbs off backyard tree and loading into truckCAPTION: Across the San Francisco Bay in Oakland, a tree-trimming company donates fresh branches to the Oakland Zoo to help feed its giraffes.10. SOUNDBITE (English) Trex Donovan, Owner, Buena Vista Tree Service:"Today we're trimming a black acacia and that's in the giraffe's native diet. We also have African sumac that grow here."11. Various unloading acacia at Oakland Zoo12. Woman and child watch giraffes13. Giraffe eats leaves from branch tied to tree+++SOUNDBITE PARTIALLY COVERED+++14. SOUNDBITE (English) Leslie Rao, Senior Keeper, Oakland Zoo:"Giraffes out in the wild can eat about 75 pounds of food a day. And while we can't sustainably grow that here ourselves, we look to the community for help. We are very lucky here in the Bay Area that we have a plethora of trees growing in your own backyards at public parks. And surprisingly to most, there's a huge portion of what grows out there that we can feed these animals. Being a nonprofit, we're not able to expend a lot of finances that other facilities might be able to. We can buy browse online to feed the animals, but for a species that eats hundreds of pounds of food a day, it's just not something that we're able to manage. So through the community, support is what really helps us here be able to take care of these animals every day."15. Various feeding acacia to giraffesSTORYLINEFor years, chefs at high-end restaurants have gone into the woods to gather greens and forage mushrooms to give diners a truly wild culinary experience.Now zoos are putting a twist on this food trend by foraging to feed their animals.The San Francisco Zoo gathers eucalyptus, an invasive species brought over by migrating Australians in the 1800s, which now flourishes throughout several city parks.Eucalyptus leaves are the main diet for the zoo's two koalas, which are the only species that consume them since it's toxic to most mammals.Koalas can eat more than two pounds of eucalyptus leaves a day. Eucalyptus is expensive to ship and only lasts for a day or two once it's unfrozen.For this reason, only a handful of zoos in areas around the world where eucalyptus grows keep koalas.The San Francisco Zoo says it now gathers more than 60 tons of plant life from city parks each year to help feed its animals.They'll need even more eucalyptus in the near future as the zoo gets its third koala.Other zoos also use other kinds of local vegetation to feed everything from apes to zebras.Across the San Francisco Bay Bridge in Oakland, a local tree-trimming crew removes limbs from another invasive species, the acacia tree, native to Africa.Rather than composting the debris the company gets from resident backyards and businesses, they donate acacia branches to the Oakland Zoo where the leaves are a favorite of the zoo's five giraffes.The Oakland Zoo, a non-profit, says the donations help keep the cost of feeding its animals down.That was especially crucial during the pandemic as zoos across the country still had to feed the animals even though there was little revenue coming in from visitors.===========================================================Clients are reminded: (i) to check the terms of their licence agreements for use of content outside news programming and that further advice and assistance can be obtained from the AP Archive on: Tel +44 (0) 20 7482 7482 Email: they should check with the applicable collecting society in their Territory regarding the clearance of any sound recording or performance included within the AP Television News service (iii) they have editorial responsibility for the use of all and any content included within the AP Television News service and for libel, privacy, compliance and third party rights applicable to their Territory.





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