Zoo groceries total 600kg

A chimp snacks on a frozen treat at Rockhampton Zoo.
A chimp snacks on a frozen treat at Rockhampton Zoo. Chris Ison

THINK your grocery bill is a bit steep?

Be grateful you don't foot the cost for feeding Rockhampton Zoo.

Each week the site goes through a mind-boggling array of live, fresh and frozen food.

This includes 2000 crickets, 260kg of grain, 1000 meal worms, day-old chicks, snails, mice, frozen rats and quail.

The sheer scale of food is astonishing.

Just consider the fruit order, as detailed by the council.

"We receive a delivery two or three times a week of about 200kg a delivery," a spokeswoman said.

"We adjust the amount of fruit we order according to the needs of the animals.

"For example, the cassowaries are big fruit eaters, but their level of consumption varies depending on season and whether or not they are laying/incubating eggs.

"They can eat as little as 3kg or as much as 12kg a bird a day.

"The chimpanzees are also big fruit eaters.

"They receive 8kg of fruit and vegetables per chimp per day."

The monthly meat order generally tips the scales at about 115kg.

"This includes mince, meat chunks, chicken necks and frames," the spokeswoman said.

"The dingoes are one of our biggest consumers of meat in the zoo but we also have a lot of meat-eating birds.

"The mince for the birds is mixed with insectivore (an insect supplemental powder) and fly pupae.

"The birds that eat this include spoonbills, cormorants, noisy pitas, curlews and glossy ibis."

Other animals consume about 30kg of frozen fish per month, which is fed to water birds, cassowaries, quoll and crocodiles.

"The birds are fed small fish like whitebait or yorkies, while the crocodiles are usually fed large mullet," the spokeswoman said.

"Rocky, the northern quoll, likes the smaller fish, and is given some prawns twice a week.

"In addition to all the above, we do a weekly grocery shop to purchase items like yogurt and poppers for the daily chimpanzee presentation, along with other small grocery items like liver treats used for dingo training," she said.



The zoo orders 60kg of nuts, such as peanuts, almonds and walnuts, once every couple of months.

"Our blue and gold macaws love their nuts, and so do the chimps and the macaques," a spokeswoman said.

Topics:  groceries rockhampton zoo

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