Animal Diaries Archive
20 June 2008
Hello again from all of us here at Elephantasia. Feeding the elephants is one of our biggest jobs. Everyday, we collect and prepare a wide variety of fresh plants, fruit and vegetables, hay and grains. Of all the different food types, oaten hay is one of their favourite and makes up the vast majority of their diet. There are two important reasons why our girls receive this.
Firstly, it is high in protein and has great nutritional value and second, as the hay is being broken down in the elephant’s stomach, it ferments producing heat. This helps to keep their big bodies warm! Unfortunately, in South East Queensland oaten hay is not very common. You see, as the oat plant is growing, it prefers a very dry climate. Our weather particularly in spring and summer can get quite humid and this has a bad effect on the plant. As a result we have had to search near and far for this food type and currently our oaten hay is being delivered to us form the other side of this country in southern Western Australia. Only the best will do for our girls!
These hay bales are not your standard size. Each one can weigh up to 700kg, so it’s no easy task throwing a few on the back of the Ute. Fortunately our construction team are happy to help us move them around with the zoo’s heavy machinery. With an elephant size appetite one bale of hay will usually lasts us around 1-2 weeks.
Until Next Time – Elephants Rule!