Zoo reveals 'mammoth' shopping list
More than 1,700 pints of milk, 47 tonnes of hay and 33 tonnes of Canadian clover are just the start of London Zoo's enormous annual shopping list, it has been revealed.
With more than 16,000 animals of 600 different species ranging from giraffes to bearded pigs, "feeding all of our animals is a mammoth task", according to Nicky Jago, one of the zoo's keepers.
The food on the list includes tonnes of carrots and oranges, 1,716 pints of milk and some unusual foods such as honey and 78kg of popping corn for its gorillas.
The massive shopping list was released by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) showing just how much food and supplies the zoo got through between April 2009 and March this year.
More than a tonne of bananas and apples each week are brought from London's Covent Garden Market by the zoo's grocers.
Some of the fruit and vegetables come from local supermarkets who, instead of wasting unsold food, deliver lettuce and other greens to the zoo.
And the zoo's onsite butcher buys almost nine tonnes of meat annually for its hunting dogs, tigers and lions.
There are a range of items on the list to fit the complicated diets of each of the creatures, Ms Jago said.
"Our male sloth doesn't like mushrooms, but our female sloth loves them, and our armadillos don't like food that's too crunchy for them - so we've definitely got our work cut out," she said.
The zoo said each individual animal was different and making sure each inhabitant of the zoo got the correct nutrition was vital, so zookeepers keep track of the complicated diets of the animals with sophisticated computer software "Zootrition".