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Spring is Here and Your Tree Trimmings Can Help Feed Exotic Animals!

Sacramento Zoo Giraffe Eating Browse. Photo by Sacramento Zoo

The Sacramento Zoo has more than 500 animals with each species given a specific diet. This includes everything from fruits and vegetables to bugs and bones. A large supplement to the animals’ diets also includes browse.

Browse is non-toxic leafy branches from trees and shrubs that can be found in your front or backyard.  Local tree trimmings can become a feast for the animals. And with spring in full-bloom, The Zoo is asking friends and neighbors to donate large branches of freshly groomed growth for specific species of plants.

Rather than placing your tree trimmings in the green waste bin, animals such as giraffes, bongos, chimpanzees, lemurs and many birds can benefit from your browse donations. Sharing your trimmings with the Zoo also means less is going to the landfills.

Chimpanzee Playing with Browse
Chimpanzee Playing with Browse. Photo by Sacramento Zoo

Browse not only serves as a supplement to the animals’ diets, but the animals also enjoy nibbling leaves, stripping bark and chewing on stems which stimulates their minds through natural behaviors, just like they would do in the wild.

Browse donations can be accepted all year for pre-approved plants and by appointment. To learn more about our browse donations, please visit saczoo.org/browse or contact 916.808.5888 or browse@saczoo.org.

Coquerel's Sifaka Lemur Eating Browse
Coquerel’s Sifaka Lemur Eating Browse. Photo by Sacramento Zoo

Edible Plant List

BambooJapanese MaplePhotinia
Bottle BrushLiquid AmberSycamore
Camelia  / Sweet GumTulip
Crape MyrtleMimosaXylosma


About the author

April Mae Saenz Johnson

On a daily basis, I see animals from all over the world in one special place: the Sacramento Zoo. I am happy to share inside info, fun facts and photographs of the zoo's animals, staff and events.

In my personal life, I enjoy the sleepy, gross and amazing moments of motherhood, time with my husband and our labradoodle, with a bit of traveling, yoga and volunteering on the Leadership Team for Social Media Club Sacramento.

I am embarking on a new adventure as co-founder of Aging UP, a nonprofit empowering youth with experience in foster care to successfully transition into adulthood.

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