Zoo animals at top of food chain with zongzi treats
Zongzi, a wrapped steamed glutinous rice dumpling with different fillings, is a must-eat of the Dragon Boat Festival.
And now animals at Shanghai Zoo in Changning District are being treated to a sumptuous banquet in celebration of the traditional festival, which falls on Monday this year.
Fennec foxes and meerkats at the zoo enjoyed zongzi in their own version – with dog food and mealworm fillings, their favorite.
Asian elephants enjoyed special fruit zongzi mixed with watermelon, while the zongzi prepared for Siberian tigers contained chicken, mutton and calcium powder.
"They showed curiosity about the unique food," said Yang Huiqiang, an animal keeper.
Dozens of macaws were fed with zongzi stuffed with fruit and peanuts.
"Because the food we give to the animals is rich, they have become very picky now," Chen Jinzhao, a keeper of birds at the zoo, joked.
"We have to change recipes for them with some creative ideas.
"The recipe will be maintained if popular."
Four raccoons had a feast of zongzi with apple, banana, peanut, wotou (a kind of steamed bun made of corn or sorghum) and jujube inside, while eight otters were satisfied with zongzi stuffed with yellow croaker.
They could not wait to sink their teeth into the delicious snacks as they pounced onto the plastic buckets filled with food.
The first feast for animals was served on Friday and will continue through the three-day holiday.
The Shanghai Wild Animal Park in the Pudong New Area has prepared similar offerings.