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By: Brenda, Director of Education and Volunteers, Audubon Zoo
A friend asked me to blog about our new ZooDoo Gold and since I am the resident “Poop Expert” (I have a certificate that says so!) I was delighted to oblige. This isn’t your regular old compost of grass clippings, coffee grounds and paper. We have the exotic droppings or dung of ostrich, zebra and our beloved elephants-Jean and Panya added to the mixins. You can’t buy that at the big box stores!
Composting poop is important for the Audubon Zoo because it helps the zoo’s sustainability, (Wikipedia defines sustainability as the capacity to endure.) which for us basically means a responsible use of our natural resources. Zoo’s go through a lot of poop, scat, dung, feces, excrement…. Our elephants alone can each produce up to 80 pounds of dung per day! Zoo’s pay a lot of money to have that hauled away. By recycling that nutrient rich manure along with our wood chippings, paper waste and more we can turn waste into a product that in turn helps the environment and conserves our financial resources. Composting in your gardens saves water and reduces the need for artificial fertilizers and pesticides.
I know that people are going to ask "Does ZooDoo Gold stink?" I checked it out myself and the answer is “no.” As the “Poop Expert” I can tell you that the dung of an herbivore is not a bad, smelly product to begin with. (Carnivore poop is a whole other thing…..) We use a hot method of composting that kills weeds and diseases, sterilizing the compost. Every two days the pile of compost is turned and after the appropriate temperature is reached and the compost is fine and handleable it can be packed into recycled feed bags ready for use. The end result is a sweet-smelling, easy to handle, quality compost-high in nutrients.
I am excited about this new product. I can create educational “Poop Theatre” and perhaps an "Endangered Feces Day". The possibilities are as endless as the source of the product.
Here is more information: On Saturday ZooDoo Gold will be available at the Audubon Zoo's Marketplace. Each bag is about four gallons of soil, weighing 30 - 35 pounds. While supplies for the ingredients of ZooDoo Gold may be virtually unlimited, it does take some time to process into the final product, so gardeners are encouraged to hurry. Each bag is $13.00. Don't forget that every purchase you make at our gift stores or food concessions support the care of our wonderful animals.
Audubon Marketplace is located at the front of the Zoo and is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10am to 5pm. Zoo admission is not required to shop in Audubon Marketplace.