It’s that time of year when people across the globe embark on frantic new diets and crazy exercise regimes. But at Drusillas Park in Alfriston, there’s quiet amongst the frenzied dieting storm, as not one of their animals gained weight in 2017 – thanks to their new healthy eating diet plan.
It’s not always just us humans that need to diet and detox after indulging in Christmas extravagances; sometimes our four legged friends need to watch their waistlines too. After Drusilla’s implemented their vegetable only diet plan, every one of the zoo’s animals has maintained a stable and healthy weight.
Head Keeper, Mark Kenward, who is responsible for monitoring animal diets and making adjustments to their food plans where necessary, explained: “All fruit items have been removed from our plant-eater’s diets completely and replaced by vegetable alternatives. Even the fruit bats have swapped a diet of melon and mangos for sweet potatoes and parsnip. The reason for this is that the fruit cultivated for our own consumption is much sweeter, higher in calories and lower in fibre than that which the animals would naturally eat in the wild. This is not only bad for their waistlines; it is also bad for their teeth.”
This simple change in diet has had a big impact on the health of the animals at the zoo, and Drusillas’ Zoo Keepers are thrilled with the results. An average weekly shopping bill at the zoo includes a whopping 12kg of broccoli, 15kg of courgette, 50kg of fine green beans, 20kg of sweet potato and 12 cabbages.
Mark continued: “All the animals at the Park are on specialised controlled diets and we work very hard to ensure that they remain at their optimum body weight and the peak of physical fitness, to ensure they stay as agile and healthy as possible.
“We are very proud to be a fruit-free zoo and to be able to say that all of our animals are on vegetable based diets. We are delighted to report that we have had no Christmas weight gains, and everyone is looking as happy and healthy as ever. All of our animals are thrilled they don’t have to join in the New Year dieting chaos!”
Located just off the A27 in Alfriston, Drusillas Park is open daily from 10am. For more information, please telephone 01323 874100 or visit the website www.drusillas.co.uk