June 25, 2008

Zoos Struggle to Pay Rising Food Bills

The head of the Kansas City Zoo says her food budget is being strained as the price of everything from hay to bananas and live mice keeps going up.

Curator Liz Harmon told The Kansas City (Mo.). Star that the annual cost of feeding the animals has increased 43 percent over the past two years to more than $375,000 annually.

You can't put your gorillas on a diet, added Zoo Director Randy Wisthoff. You have a lifelong commitment to these animals.

The zoo is able to produce of some its own food, such as worms, but everything else has to be shipped in, usually with a gasoline surcharge attached, the newspaper said.

Kansas City isn't the only city feeling the pinch at the zoo. The Star said the San Antonio Zoo's budget is up 38 percent and the zoo in Tucson is paying 20 percent more.