When push comes to shove, it’s great to know that you can look to others to help you out in a pinch! That’s what happened recently when our friends at TipTop came to the Zoo’s aid to provide much needed ‘lunch boxes’ for our birds.

On any given week our bird team (with the help of stores) will order in and then prepare special meals for the species in our care, which includes all of their essential dietary and nutritional requirements.

When Carl, our team leader of birds, thought a Covid-19 lockdown in New Zealand might be a possibility he bulk ordered some of our animals most essential foods to make sure that we had enough in supply, including some of the more rarer food products we require, like specially formulated pellets for our flamingo flock.

Under normal circumstances we would only have the need and capacity to prepare as much as seven diets in advance per week, but with the empty containers that TipTop provided we were able to kick our food preparation to the next level - freezing sprats for our little penguin colony (which you can see them enjoying here!) and preparing and freezing the diet for our Kiwi.

Being this organised with our food preparation was so important as there was always the risk - despite all of the safety measures that we and the New Zealand Government put in place to protect our essential workers – that we could have become low on staff due to self-isolation or illness, making these time-savings so critical to the essential operations of our Zoo. 

Carl says of this, “I am extremely grateful to TipTop for giving us these tubs as its enables us to save a lot of time and really get our “ducks in a row” as the saying goes. I think the penguins are happy they are filled with fish and not ice cream, the humans not so much!”