Securing a shared future for wildlife and people

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Elephant Bum

Recently we received letters from students from a local primary school wanting to know what Taronga does with all of its animal poo. I decided to ask Emma Bombonato, our Manager of Environmental Sustainability, about this potentially smelly topic.

According to Emma, “At Taronga Zoo alone the animals in our care produce around 650 tonnes of poo each year. This is the same as about 200 Asian Elephants worth of poo. A single elephant poo pat weights about 1kg!”

So what do we do with all that dung? According to the book ‘What do they do with all the poo from all of the animals at the zoo’ by Ahn Do, the poo is made into lollies for children. That sounds pretty gross to me, so I checked with Emma.

“Our animal poo is collected and processed into compost at both Taronga Zoo in Sydney and Taronga Western Plains in Dubbo. Once it is made into compost it can be reused on gardens to add loads of rich and healthy nutrients to the soil,” said Emma.

She even said that some places turn elephant poo into paper and notebooks.

So there you go, if you ever wanted to know about all that poo at the zoo, now you doodo!

- Grey Fisher

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