Pancake Day Treats!
Pancakes were the dish of the day for the lemur troop at Drusillas Park, as zookeepers served up an early Pancake Day feast to mark the Shrove Tuesday tradition.
Tossing aside the conventional recipe, the savoury style crepes were created from mashed up leaf pellets and sweet potato topped with a sprinkling of sweetcorn and carrots. The delicious batter was mixed together, shaped into pancakes and served to the hungry group in a frying pan by Head Keeper, Sophie Leadbitter.
Sweet potato is a Lemur favourite and provides vital nutrients to these wonderfully charismatic animals. The pancakes were wolfed down in seconds and the pan licked clean at lightning speed.
Head Keeper, Sophie Leadbitter, commented: “As we are a fruit-free zoo, something like sweet potato makes the perfect treat for our animals. All fruit items have been removed from our plant-eater’s diets completely and replaced by vegetable alternatives.”
“The reason for this is that the fruit cultivated for our own consumption is much sweeter, higher in calories and lower in fibre than that which the animals would naturally eat in the wild. This is not only bad for their waistlines; it is also bad for their teeth. We might love a sweet, sugary Pancake Day treat, but this would just be no good for the health of our animals.”
Delivering the animals’ meals in imaginative and unusual ways is part of the zoo’s daily enrichment programme. This ensures they receive a varied and diverse diet, as well as encouraging them to think and work for their food as they would in the wild.
Head Keeper, Sophie Leadbitter, remarked: “We work hard in the zoo to deliver food and other items of interest to the animals in ways that will keep them mentally stimulated. Lemurs are naturally very energetic and curious animals so they were straight over to investigate the frying pan I was carrying. I got mobbed a bit actually! They all jumped up as soon as they saw food coming!”
“Shadow the lemur was first up to grab the sweet potato pancakes, and he quickly began wolfing down large chunks of pancakes to stop anyone else getting any! Needless to say, he wasn’t successful in his hoarding attempts and he did have to share the treat with everybody.”