In this week's segment of "The Zoo's News," we answer a few more questions that have been submitted by listeners. This time, we focus on food including how much certain animals eat and the cost.

Director of Communications Mike Beck, joins us for another installment of "The Zoo's News." We jump right into this episode with a question submitted by a listener. Amanda from Herkimer wrote to us wondering how much it costs to feed all the animals at the Utica Zoo.

Luckily, Mike Beck knew the answer to this question and he explains it in the video at the top of this page. He points out that there are many factors that go into the cost of the food, including amounts the zoo doesn't actually pay for, but are donated by local businesses. It cost the Utica Zoo about $72,000 a year to feed all the animals (again, that doesn't include the amount of food that's donated). Price Chopper is one of the local businesses that donates food to the Utica Zoo and it's estimated to be in the thousands of dollars (which you can hear more about in the video above).

FUN FACT: It costs about $14,000 a year just to feed the African Lions.

Naomi Lynn couldn't believe that they have to pay $72,000 a year to feed the animals. She asked Beck where this money comes from, to which he replied "a lot of it comes through admissions, when you pay at the door." He also says their fundraisers like Brewfest and Wine in the Wilderness, along with donations and the adoption of animals, all help to pay for the animals' food (and of course to help the Utica Zoo continue to operate and run successfully).

The second question that was submitted was from Dillon from Utica. He wanted to know how much the lions eat at the zoo. Beck explains that the lions eat between 4 to 7 pounds of meat per day in the summer. That amount goes up to 8 to 10 pounds in the winter. It depends on whether the lion is female or male as well, seeing as the female lions tend to eat a little less.

We want to thank Mike Beck again for answering our questions and teaching us more about the Utica Zoo. If you have a question about the zoo, upcoming events, or any of the animals, you can submit it at the link below. It may be featured in an later episode of "The Zoo's News."




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