Curious? Ask Chris: "What do the lions, tigers, and bears eat at - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Curious? Ask Chris: "What do the lions, tigers, and bears eat at the Louisville Zoo? And, how much?"

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB)--The Louisville Zoo is full of animals from around the globe, and with people from all over Kentuckiana to see them.

It's a recent visit that triggered Julie's question.
She asks, "what do the lions, tigers, and bears eat at the Louisville Zoo? And, how much?"

The zoo's food budget is half a million dollars a year. Preparing the diet for each animal can be a bear. It happens mostly at the commissary and includes chopping, boiling, and a lot of time.

"It takes at least 2 and a half...maybe 3 hours a day to get those diets prepared," explained Glacier Run Keeper, Kevin Grizzle.

The menu varies based on the animal. Let's start with lions and tigers.

"Primarily we use equine. We do use some beef," said Animal Curator, Michael Jones.

On most days, a male lion gets 10 pounds worth of meat. A lioness gets around 5 pounds.

Usually, tigers eat about a pound more than their lion counterparts. But, all of that is subject to change.

"We monitor body condition and body weight very closely, and adjust the diet accordingly," explained Veterinarian, Zoli Gyimesi.

Lions also fast once or twice a week.

"That's to mimic nature, and rest their digestive system. It also helps with their mouth and teeth," Gyimesi said.

Like the big cats, polar and grizzly bears eat equine meat, but they also devour dry food and fish.
A typical day for both members of the bear family includes 7-15 pounds of the same meal.

"It's just like if you ate spaghetti every day, it can get a little tiring," said Jones.

So the staff at the zoo spices it up every once and a while with treats.

Bears get peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, some eggs, and greens. Lions and tigers often get a pumpkin or two.

From the kitchen to the exhibit, a big team insures the lions, tigers and bears eat like kings.
Thanks to Julie for the question.

If you want Chris Sutter to answer your question, here's how to get in touch:
Twitter: @chrissutter
Email: csutter@wdrb.com
Facebook
: Type Chris Sutter into the search box

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