How food scraps have been turned into colourful elephant treats

Boost Dubbo, Taronga Western Plains Zoo partnership feeding elephants

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The idea came from Melbourne.


The elephants at Taronga Western Plains Zoo have been getting some extra fruit ice blocks lately, thanks to a partnership with Boost.

Since December when he was approached by keeper Josie Montgomery, Boost Orana Mall owner Craige Peterie has been saving the peels and pulp left over from the smoothies to feed the elephants.

Ms Montgomery said the idea came from Melbourne Zoo, which has a similar partnership.

Every Friday, she picks up about 40 buckets of food scraps. During the warmer months they're turned into ice blocks for the elephants.

"They'll usually eat pretty much anything. They don't usually eat the lemon peel. But that's also a bit of enrichment for them to smell it and the young calves can pick it up and taste it," Ms Montgomery said.

"We try and give it to all of them throughout the week."

Mr Peterie said he wished he had started donating the scraps earlier.

"The staff have really embraced it. If you throw anything in the bin by mistake they get really upset and we have signs everywhere saying 'keep our animal scraps'," he said.

"Normally they'd go in the bin. This way we're actually utilising the scraps in a really positive sense."

Mr Peterie said Taronga Western Plains Zoo was such a great part of Dubbo and it was very satisfying to be able to play a small role in its operation

Daily Liberal