We Care for Animals

We Care for Animals

The very best quality of life for the animals in our care

$14,290.00

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Animal Well-Being

Veterinarians Attending to Tiger

Thanks to generous We Care for Animals donors, the Zoo Society helps to support a broad range of important animal care needs, including veterinary care, healthy diet and exercise and innovative enrichment programs. Support our Zoo and make a donation today.

This year, the Zoo Society's annual fund will focus on animal care, in particular supporting a local foods initiative for the Zoo's animals. You know what it takes to feed your family, now imagine feeding more than 3,000 mouths! Did you know that the animals at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo eat more than 34 tons of produce a year And, that the Zoo spends more than $500,000 a year to purchase all the produce, hay and eucalyptus necessary to its hungry residents?

The Zoo animals' food must be fresh, pesticide-free and available in large quantities. While some of the food is very specific, such as eucalyptus for the koala, most of it would be familiar to any restaurant, home or farm: high-quality fruits and vegetables and plenty of hay. And, like many of us, Zoo animals are shifting to healthier diets, with more fresh greens, lower starch and fewer processed foods.

The parallels between animal and human health are fascinating – as are some key differences. Many Zoo animals consume trees and shrubs – ornamental plants that humans might enjoy in a garden, but not on a plate. Munching on roses and willows helps keep rhinos healthy; stripping bark from trees keeps elephants active and engaged; picking through a pile of dandelions is a delicacy for gorillas. These plant materials, known as browse, are nutritious and provide behavioral benefits, stimulating more natural foraging and feeding behaviors. The Zoo is working to increase procurement of local food and browse which will reduce costs, increase self-sufficiency, benefit Northeast Ohio economically and maintain confidence in the quality of food given to the animals.