Have you ever had mango salsa with peanut butter for breakfast? The orangutans have! Every morning, keepers send in ‘grocery lists’ to the Commissary, where all the animals’ food is kept. Then keepers and Zoo Corps interns check the lists and fill plastic tubs from the hay barns, giant refrigerator, and deep freezer. When the bins are filled, a zoo pick-up truck delivers the orders to the hungry animals.
Many people have fun stories from their time in the Commissary. Once, a Zoo Corps intern got his wet shoes frozen to the floor of the deep freezer! Another worker spilled coffee on the floor and spent a few days trying to clean up the frozen puddle.
While coffee isn’t normally found in the freezer, bags of frozen mice and fish are. The refrigerator holds everything from melons and yams to grape juice and yogurt. In the kitchen, the shelves are stocked with Ensure for older animals, vitamins, graham crackers, bread, popcorn, and the five gallon buckets for one of the bears’ favorite treats: bloodsicles. We don’t know about you, but we prefer our popsicles in cherry and lime!
Top: Fresh produce for the animals at the zoo's commissary. Photo by Ryan Hawk.
Bottom: Visitors watch as a grizzly bear enjoys a "bloodsicle" treat made by commissary workers. Photo by Ric Brewer.