Singapore Zoo’s menu for carnivores!
( WinterTiger’s note: I was on a two-in-one tour of the zoo’s central kitchen and wildlife healthcare and research centre, which is open to the public for the first time. Want to know more about what the Singapore Zoo feeds its carnivores? Read on!)
(Unfortunately, no pictures were allowed to be taken on this particular section of the tour! )
It was a raw feeder’s dream come true. As I stepped into the Singapore Zoo’s Central Kitchen, the first things that drew my eyes were giant slabs of meat and ribs laid out to defrost.
To the side, in the freezer room, giant hooves were chucked in a basket. Slabs and slabs of all types of meat were laid out on tables.
What were these giant slabs? I wondered.
“Horse meat…and horse hoofs..the hoofs are good for gnawing on, and they are a very good source of calcium,” Mr Haniman Boniran, Senior Executive of the Education Department for Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS), helpfully informed us.
The horse parts are donated by the Singapore Turf Club, but only when horses fall ill or injured and die. So that’s only once in a while. Most of the time, the carnivores at the zoo are fed mostly beef, mutton, chicken and pork, said Mr Haniman.
An aerial view of the Singapore Turf Club for non-Singaporean readers! (Pic source: Tripadvisor.com.sg. Visit the page here! )
We learnt lots of nuggets of information from Mr Haniman about how animals are fed. The zoo tries to mimic how they get food in the wild as much as possible.
Raw vs cooked: The carnivores are fed raw meat. When even one of the world’s best zoos is feeding raw, you know this is something right. Mr Haniman says cooked meat is fed only when they procure an animal from another zoo which has been feeding cooked meat (tsk tsk). Some fruits, vegetables and grains are also cooked for better digestion (and no these aren’t fed to the carnivores, who can’t eat grain, remember? The primates eat them)
Feeding patterns: Carnivores like lions, tigers and leopards are not fed everyday, just as how they can’t always land a successful kill in the wild everyday (so for readers who are feeding their cats four-six times a day and then ask us why your cat isn’t eating…)
Live prey is not fed, however, because they may contain parasites.
The quantity of meat they are fed is up to 10 per cent of the animal’s body weight. And only human grade meat that has been assessed by the AVA to be safe are used. Sources of the meat are from countries such as New Zealand and Australia, where food safety standards are high.
Well-fed lions 😉
Thumbs up for the zoo!
Here are some pictures that were allowed to be snapped… (random, but interesting–and hey, why not?)
Mr Haniman showing where the zoo treats sick animals
The hospital wards! (Say hi to us if you happen to be in the photograph!)
A tiger foetus–check out the tiny paws!
The vet hospital
To end off, here’s a question for you, dear reader…
What are you feeding your carnivore today?
Categories: TRE Pet blog