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Healthy eating will be the theme of Bristol Zoo Gardens' half term activities next week.

PUBLISHED: 14:03 08 February 2012 | UPDATED: 21:00 20 February 2013

Apples, carrots, pears, broccoli and lettuce will be on the menu for many of the Zoo's animals as children who bring one of these five pieces of fruit or vegetable will be able to get entry into the Zoo for the discounted rate of £5.

Apples and carrots and pears oh my!

Healthy eating will be the theme of Bristol Zoo Gardens half term activities next week.

Apples, carrots, pears, broccoli and lettuce will be on the menu for many of the Zoos animals as children who bring one of these five pieces of fruit or vegetable will be able to get entry into the Zoo for the discounted rate of 5.

The offer runs all day from Saturday February 11 until Sunday February 19, as part of the Zoos Five-a-day February half term campaign.

The fresh produce taken to the Zoo by members of the public will be collected by keepers and used to feed the animals as part of their daily balanced diet. Only apples, carrots, pears, broccoli or lettuce will be accepted as part of this offer.

Zoo keepers will also be giving a series of special talks about the animals and their healthy diets, during half term week.

John Partridge, Senior Curator of Animals at Bristol Zoo, said: Ensuring our animals receive a full and nutritionally-balanced diet is very important in order to make sure they always look and feel their best.

He added: Many of our animals eat a huge amount. For example, Jock, our silverback gorilla, eats over 7000g of fresh fruit, vegetables and pellet every day!

We get three or four large food deliveries each week and food for the animals is one of our largest expenses. While we wont be relying on the publics food donations to feed our animals, as a charity, it will help contribute towards the cost of feeding our animals for the week.

We hope our Five-a-day February campaign will help raise awareness of the importance of healthy eating and encourage our visitors to find out more about the different diets of some of the animals at Bristol Zoo.

As part of the Zoos healthy eating week, visitors will be given a free piece of fruit with any drink and sandwich purchased at the Coral Caf.

Bristol Zoo Gardens is a conservation and education charity and relies on the generous support of the public not only to fund its important work in the zoo, but also its vital conservation and research projects spanning five continents.

To find out more about Bristol Zoo, visit or phone 0117 974 7300.

Fact file:

Diets for some of the animals at Bristol Zoo:

  • Jock the silverback gorilla On an average day, Jock will eat 6 iceburg lettuces, 5 leafy lettuces, 4 large carrots, 3 chicory, 1 pepper, 4 tomatoes, one celery, 1 parsnip, 1 leek, 2 boiled eggs, 1 broccoli, a quarter of a bunch of grapes, a varying amount of browse and 2 litres of diluted fruit juice.

  • Jasmina the red panda each day Jasmina will be fed 200g of pellet, 100g of apples, 100g of pear and 20g berries. One hard-boiled egg per week.

  • Polly the pancake tortoise gets fed a small amount of hay and a small handful of leafy greens three times per week.

  • Turkish spiny mice our group of 24 Turkish spiny mice are fed pellet every day. In addition, they are fed the following items twice a week, with each individual mouse receiving: 2g apple, 2g pear, 1.25g carrot, 1g sunflower seeds, 1.1g spring greens, with each piece of food chopped into 3cm pieces.

  • Lily the capybara three carrots per day, 1000g pellet and additional browse on an ad-hoc basis.


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