How the OKC Zoo uses animal poo to beautify your garden

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OKLAHOMA CITY – The elephants at the Oklahoma City Zoo produce about 300 pounds of excrement a day, which translates into about 15 barrels which they then dump into a truck bed and take over to a compost pile. “And so that’s a huge mountain of poo we have to manage at the zoo,” Lance Swearengin, horticulture curator for the botanical gardens at the OKC Zoo said. Any manure from herbivorous animals at the zoo makes its way to a pile in the back. “And so that pile heats up and breaks down over time and basically just creates a really nice fertilizer that can go back into the garden,” he said. Which is then sent off to Minick Materials Composting in west OKC to turn into fertilizer. “By composting, we’re saving a lot of organic waste from just going into the landfill and reusing it,” Swearengin said. Starting April 20, they’re bringing zoo poo to you for the first time ever. “We’ve been composting at the zoo for a very long time and now your guests are going to be able to get a piece of the zoo,” he said. An 8 x 12 package is $3.99 and goes back to the zoo’s general fund. Zoo officials say it’s high quality. “This is amazing stuff and so people are going to really see a difference when they use this. It’s going to cause you to use less water in your garden.” Going green with zoo poo for your perennials. “We’ve got lots of poo at the zoo.” The OKC Zoo will have a zoo poo presale tonight at LIVE on the Plaza from 6-10 p.m., with all sales supporting the zoo’s conservation programs and partners. Zoo poo will be available starting April 20 at the zoo’s earth day celebration. It will be on sale in the gift shop after that. The zoo will sell the compost in two sizes – a small bag for $3.99 and a 20lb bag for $8.99.

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