It’s heavy doodie. 100% all-natural, composted Zoo poo, effortlessly produced by some of Riverbanks Zoo & Garden’s most famous animals:
Talk about heavy doodie—one elephant can produce as much as 200 pounds every day!
These giant herbivores spend about 16 hours a day eating. They’ll eat leaves, bark, fruit and shrubs along with grasses and herbs. And they have to eat a lot of it! Adult elephants in the wild can eat almost 600 pounds and drink about 60 gallons of water each day.
Their digestive systems only process about 40% of what they eat. No wonder 75% of comPOOst is from elephants.
It’s a long trip from leaf to comPOOst.
The giraffe’s 18-inch tongue grabs leaves to be chewed. When swallowed, leaves travel 6 feet into the stomach. Since giraffes have four chambered stomachs, a ball of pre-chewed food (or cud) visibly travels back up for more chewing. This happens several times. It’s swallowed for the last time, processed, and then nice, neat pellets are dropped another 6 feet.
Total travel distance? About 43.5 feet, not including processing in the stomach!
For zebras it’s all about quantity, not quality. Grass, leaves, sticks, roots, bark—it’s all good!
They have fast digestive systems that actually ferment vegetation to extract the nutrients they need. They’ll spend about 65% of the day eating when conditions are good and about 80% of the day grazing when food is scarce. Now that’s getting your money’s worth at the all-u-can-eat buffet!
The final product is grassy pellets—and no, they’re not striped.
- Returns nutrients and organic material into the soil.
- Improves soil capacity to retain moisture and other nutrients.
- Loosens heavy clay soil and promotes healthy root systems.
- Reduces material sent to the landfill.
- Eliminates chemical runoff (unlike most commercial fertilizers).
- Prevents the need for synthetic fertilizers.
- Proceeds support the conservation efforts at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden.
How to Buy
- comPOOst is available year-round at Riverbanks Gift Shop, by the pint for $5.25 and in 2-gallon containers for $13.
- You can also buy comPOOst by the pick-up truckload (about one cubic yard) for $50 during our spring and fall bulk sales. Bulk sales are announced on the Riverbanks homepage when available.
How Doo-Doo You Use It?
Mix four parts commercial potting soil with one part comPOOst. To feed perennials, apply a 1-inch thick layer of comPOOst around the base of each plant.
For new beds, spread a 2-3 inch layer of comPOOst over the surface of soil. Till comPOOst into soil at a depth of 4-6 inches. One load of comPOOst should cover about 100 sq. ft. when applied at the 2-inch rate. For existing beds, spread a one inch layer of comPOOst around existing plants.
The Scoop on Our Poop
Riverbanks’ elephants produce about 1,500 pounds of manure every day.
Waste Not, Want Not
Each year 13,418 cubic feet of elephant dung is converted into Riverbanks comPOOst.
Pile it On
Hauled to a concrete slab for about 60 days, the heavy heaps are monitored daily for temperature and moisture.
We Move Mountains
Compost mounds heat up to 120-160°F and are turned periodically to facilitate decomposition.
Once the temperature drops to 115°F, the compost is hauled to another area for a 30-day curing stage.
The Bottom Line
The natural soil amendment is ready for distribution when it cools to ambient temperature.