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Got Pinecones? Auckland Zoo needs them!

Auckland Zoo is asking people for dry and open pinecones to help feed and entertain their primates and other animals.

The pinecones are used to make eating more adventurous – food is stuffed between the open cones and either hung by string or hidden amongst the enclosure.

For the animals it makes food time more challenging and stimulating as they have to work to get their food.

Volunteers help with the preparation by taking the open pinecones and filling them with stewed fruits as well as spices (used for variation).

For example: Lemur Pinecones for Behavioural enrichment

  • Use small pinecones (8 for each day)
  • Tie ribbon around pinecone
  • Cut bananas into strips
  • Press banana onto pinecone – DON’T PUSH RIGHT IN
  • Can put raisins in banana as well if you like

Note: The reason for not pressing banana right in is that lemurs are not tool users and will only use their mouths to get food so it cannot be pressed in too deeply

Once completed, the volunteers take the pinecone to the lemur enclosure. They will then be able to enter the exhibit and tie the pinecones in various places around the enclosure for the lemurs.

“They can take up to 40 minutes to consume (if it is a big cone) which keeps the animals stimulated and occupied” says Zoo Communications Co-ordinator Kate Orgias.  

Auckland Zoo says currently the pinecones are in short supply.

If you have a bag full, a sack full or even a trailer load – head to the Main Reception at Auckland Zoo in the main admin building.

Remember – the pinecones need to be dry and opened.




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