Apart from reproducing, an animal’s most important task is finding food. Many devote almost all their waking hours to looking for and eating food, normally called foraging. Every animal is adapted to eat different things. Some eat different food depending on the season and what is available. Some eat only once every six months, while others have to eat every hour. An animal in a zoo doesn’t have the option of choosing its food in the same way as one in the wild, but is dependent on what we give it. If an animal gets the wrong food, it can become sick and, in the worst case, starve to death, even though it has free access to food.

Nutrition is simply about what food we give to the animals. An animal usually chooses the food that supplies the most energy. It often includes a lot of sugar and fat, which is not always what suits them best. So it’s important that we give them the food they are adapted to eat and which is as close as possible to their natural diet.

At Nordens Ark, we work to maintain a high standard of animal welfare, which, among other things, means that the animals are healthy, grow as they should and get the food they are adapted to eat. Feeding is obviously an important part of our daily care, and it’s also an important tool when working with enrichment. Our animals’ diets are developed using the latest research, but also through exchange of experiences with other zoos. We always strive to provide a diet that’s as natural as possible. An effective diet is vital for all the animals at Nordens Ark, down to the smallest beetle.

Weekly diet. This is what the animals at Nordens Ark eat in a week:


Apples - 78 kg

Pears- 42 kg

Grapes - 9 kg

Oranges - 16 kg

Bananas - 19 kg

Beetroot - 10 kg

Cabbages - 15 kg

Potatoes - 40 kg

White cabbage - 15 kg

Fennel - 3 kg

Broccoli - 6 kg

Salad - 35 kg

Carrots - 90 kg

Watermelons - 4 kg

Eggs - 50 kg

Mealworms - 14 kg

Crickets - 2500 st

Zophobas - 0,2 kg

Meat - 550 kg

Fish - 21 kg

Chickens - 105 kg

Rats - 39 kg

Rabbits - 42 kg

Guinea pigs - 2 kg

Mice - 10 kg

Guinea pigs - 7 kg

Quail - 26 kg

Lichen - 4 kg

Pellets/dry feed - 393 kg

Hay and straw - 520 kg

Silage - 750 kg

Cereal - 55 kg

Minerals- 14 kg