Can you dig it?
Tuesday 9 November 2004
London Zoo is launching an appeal asking avid and amateur gardeners alike, to grow plants for our animals
The Zoological Society of London's Curator of Plants, Kevin Frediani, launched the appeal at a Zoo Federation conference by asking green fingered gardeners, with even the smallest amount of space to spare, to grow plants from our carefully selected list to donate to London Zoo's residents.
"Although plants aren't the first thing people associate with zoos, they play an essential role in not only providing food for our animals, but we also use them to make our enclosures as interesting as possible," commented Kevin Frediani. "London Zoo is an urban environment and we only have a certain amount of space on site that we can turn over to growing plants, this is why we need help from gardeners to supply our animals with carefully selected plants, from bamboo to grasses and herbs."
ZSL uses lots of different plant species in its animal enclosures at London Zoo and Whipsnade Wild Animal Park. The plants are not just used for feeding purposes, but also to stimulate the animals to exhibit natural behaviours. For example, our big cats are often treated to aromatic herbs and spices to encourage them to scent their area, just as they would in the wild. We will also be using the appeal to ask for plants such as bamboo, which forms an essential part of the diet of some of our other endangered animals, such as red pandas.
Volunteer gardeners can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for an information pack, which details the plants that we need grown, growing hints and tips and information on how donations will be used.