– I’m here at the San
Diego Zoo Safari Park finding out what it takes
to feed over 3,000 animals on a daily basis. (rhythmic drumming) – Animal nutrition and human nutrition, is there much of a difference? – I would say yes, because
human nutrition is one species. We tend to know a lot
about humans, so then what we do is, for zoo
nutrition, we’re looking about, what’s the nearest match? A great example would be, actually, we’re looking at lots
of bird diet prep here, the closest match that we
have for all of our birds is a chicken. – Makes sense. I’m noticing the food being prepped here is a little different,
there’s some mice over there. – So, we’ve got a couple
of different stations, and for hygiene purposes,
exactly as you would have in a normal kitchen, food is
prepped in different areas. So, there is some meat, and
there are some other items that we’ll get to, but we definitely have a fruit and veg station
over here, and then some of the food will
already have been chopped. That’s what we’re working on
here, is using some of that and adding it to hornbill diets. And that’s what you’re
gonna see just here. – And they’re working from recipe books, right?
– Right. – Is that per species, or
specific animals within? – It’s a little bit of both. Between the Safari Park and the Zoo, we have close to 800 species,
and that’s pretty big. – [Katie] And what’s in here already? – Some of the fruit salads. This is a processed meat,
it’s almost like a sausage, but it has extra nutrition in
it to make it more balanced. Then there’s different
pellets, they’re balanced for different species, and then we’ve got a few little rodents in there. In fact, the fruits and
vegetables that we use for feeding our animals come
from exactly the same supplier that we use for our guests.
– Right. – It’s restaurant-grade quality.
– It’s not a lower-grade food. – No, and when you think
about it, it makes sense. Our animals are incredibly
important to us. Many of them are species
that are very threatened. So, it makes no sense to cut
corners on the quality of the food, because that could have
consequences for their health. (upbeat music) Hi!
– What is goin’ on over here?
– This is Cassandra, and she is helping make
some of our mammal diets. – Now, I’m making some biscuits for the keepers. These are gonna be helping
them either with training or with moving animals
from exhibits so they can clean exhibits.
– Okay. – These biscuits are
really highly desirable, so, it lures them away
from where they need to be. – So (sniffs), I think these, I always like to sniff food (sniffs). They’re a candy equivalent,
so that the animals will get really motivated for them.
– They’re enticed by them. – Exactly. – What’s next? – Okay, so, you’re ready
to go out into the field and see some of the animals
we’ve been talking about? – Yes. (laughs)
– Okay, let’s go. I hope it’s gonna stay dry for you. But now, you’re going out
into the field with Jillian, and you’re gonna get to
feed some of the animals that you were making the diets for this morning.
– This is what I’ve been waiting for. (laughs) – Excellent, enjoy!
– Thank you. – We’re gonna go put
pellet in giraffe feeders, and hay in hay feeders,
and stuff like that, first. The way we feed our giraffe is different than the way we feed every other animal in here. Every other animal is a grazer out here, they’ll be eating off the ground,
so low feeders make sense. For our giraffe, we like to
put food up high for them, more natural, as they would be
pulling leaves off of a tree or something like that. That’s good. These guys are getting what
we call Wild Herb Plus, it’s a more special formulated
pellet for the giraffe. So, we feed it up in these
high feeders to ensure that the giraffe get it and not everybody else, although the giraffe
like other pellet, too. (bag rustles) – [Katie] Will they come over
here as you’re filling these? – Yes, first thing in the
morning, we usually get followed, and usually they’re eating it as we’re dumping it in the feeder.
– Oh, my gosh! – [Jillian] Good job, there you go, here’s your first customer.
– Oh, my gosh! – [Jillian] Here’s Hih-bar-ee comin’ over. – [Katie] Oh, my god! – [Jillian] There you go. – (exhales) Oh, my god! – Good boy. – [Katie] How much do they eat a day? – We feed five 50-pound bags of pellet, and we’ll usually go through
about a whole bale of alfalfa, is what we offer them. As far as what each one eats–
– Right. – It’s kinda hard to say. Oh yeah, and their
slobber is very viscous, I guess you would say.
– It’s okay. (laughs) – And so, they would spend
most of their day in the wild. They would be eating off of
acacia trees, and a lot of ’em are thorny acacia, so having
that real thick saliva helps protect their tongue. – How do you know if each specific animal is getting the amount they need? – Part of our day is
definitely, we’ll go around and we’ll throw food out
in all these feeders, and then we’ll spend a lot of
our day making observations. Who’s eating where, who’s
eating what, and if we see a specific animal or a
specific species, even, that maybe isn’t getting enough food, or they’re being pushed
out by other animals, then we will make every effort we can to make sure that they
get their proper amount. – [Katie] What do the rhinos eat? – The rhinos get the specialized pellet, because we figured out that
what was in that pellet was slowing their reproduction. It took science to
figure it out, and it was the phytoestrogens that
was in the alfalfa, and so what we did is,
they broke it all down and they looked at the gut of the rhino and what was going on, and
they were able to figure out that these phytoestrogens
that are high in alfalfa were causing infertility in
the southern white rhino. We went a long span here at
the park without having any southern white rhino babies, so we changed ’em over to this new diet, and soon after, we ended
up with kids on the ground. – Wow.
– It was pretty cool, so now we are back to helping the
southern white rhino population. Pretty nice. – [Katie] How are the different
ways you’re feeding them in the enclosure, how does that compare to how they’d be eating in the wild? – [Jillian] We feed
’em in different areas, to kinda entice them to move
to different areas, also. In the wild, they’re not going
to stay in exactly one spot and eat, they’ll be
moving with their herd, so it kinda gives them the
opportunity to do the same thing. They’ll go from feeder to feeder eating little bits and
pieces here and there. – [Katie] Spread throughout. – [Jillian] Yeah, makin’ everybody happy. – [Katie] How many times
a day do you do this? – [Jillian] Typically,
right now, we’re doin’ it twice a day, a total of
about seven bales of hay goes throughout the exhibit. – A day.
– A day, and usually we feed about 13 bags of pellet out there. – Jillian, thank you so, so much. This was an experience I will remember for the rest of my life. (laughs) Thank you for showing
me a day in your life. It was unbelievable. Thanks for watching. For more How to Make It, click here.