Mesker Park Zoo and Botanic Garden is pleased to announce the opening of the new Animal Commissary. Zoo visitors are now able to watch through large windows as the diets for over 700 animals are prepared in this newly constructed facility. Animal diets are prepared daily to insure that only the freshest of food is being served to the animals. Denny Vogt, the Assistant Animal Curator at the Zoo, says “The new Commissary is a big improvement to the Zoo. It allows us to have a centralized location to prepare and distribute all of the animal diets.”
The Commissary is separated into many different areas to help keep the food stored safely. The building includes a grain room, refrigerator and freezer, and a live animal room which holds our feeder rodents and insects that are feed to several collection animals. According to Erik Beck, Director of Operations, “The new commissary is a great balance between a modern, clean, efficient work space for the zookeepers and an opportunity for zoo guests to get a glimpse behind the scenes and see what it takes to feed a zoo.”
The Animal Commissary was also built to exemplify the Zoo’s many green practices. All lights will automatically turn off when there is no activity and multiple skylights will reduce the need for lighting. The zookeepers try very hard not to throw anything away. All food that the Zoo does not use directly for animal diets is either recycled or composted.
Zoo Members will receive a special opportunity to preview the new Animal Commissary during Member Appreciation Evening on July 11. This facility will be open for tours during the event from 5:00 - 7:30 p.m.
Evansville’s Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden is open 365 days a year from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. (entry gate closes at 4 p.m.). Adult admission is $8.50 and children ages 3-12 are $7.50. Children 2 and under are free. In recognition of their support, Vanderburgh County residents receive $1 discount. Group discounts and yearly memberships are also available. Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Please visit www.meskerparkzoo.com for more information.