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What’s on the Menu for the Lions at the Copenhagen Zoo?

The Danes takes recycling seriously, even when it comes to their beloved horses. When there’s an equine loss in the family, Danish horse owners can call the Copenhagen Zoo and donate the carcass; it will become food for the zoo’s lions and other large carnivores. Part of the lure for horse owners is that the zoo picks up the carcass for free, whereas private companies charge as much as 3,700 Danish kroner ($584 USD) to transport a dead horse.

Keeping the big cats happy:

  • The service is so popular that some horse owners have been put on a waiting list, sometimes for several months. But it’s worth it, they say, so that their horses can end up as “part of the food chain.”
  • Zoo lions eat a lot of horse meat, a Copenhagen Zoo spokesman said, “but they also vary their diet with rabbits, calves and a single goat or zebra every now and then.”
  • In the wild, a male lion can eat as much as 90 pounds (40 kg) of meat in one sitting, and then go for many days without eating. Zoo lions typically eat much smaller and more regular meals.
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