The Maryland Zoo and BGE are teaming up to help feed the animals at the zoo.
The Zoo Browse Partnership is an initiative to provide tree branches to animals for diet and enrichment purposes.
Donated branches are trimmed from trees near electric power lines. BGE crews first identify healthy trees, then they cut and deliver bundles to the zoo twice a week.
“This has been a great alternative for us because BGE is going to be throwing these away anyway so instead of them being discarded, they’re just brought here and were able to feed them out to our animals,” said Commissary Manager Andrew Young.
Animals like giraffes and chimpanzees are fed the browse. Limbs and branches are spread around their enclosures to encourage foraging behaviors.
"It’s great for the animals great for the zoo and it’s a very interesting program,” said BGE Forester Dan Mance. “It gives the animals more variety than they’d normally get and its more natural than feeding regular food that they feed them because in the wild animals eat browse and that’s what we’re supplying fresh browse."
The Zoo Browse Initiative will help visitors experience more natural animal behavior. It also saves the zoo nearly $2,000 each week.