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New life at the zoo for recycled brushes

Thursday 09 Feb 2023
Please note the content of this news item is over six months old and may no longer be current.
Tortoise Screenshot 2023 02 09 110524

The City of Marion has partnered with the City of Charles Sturt to recycle discarded street sweeper brushes to Zoos SA so animals can use them as “scratchers” and for other “enrichment opportunities”.

A number of the brushes were recently delivered to the Adelaide Zoo to provide unique enrichment opportunities for various animals including goats, tapirs, and tortoises.

The initiative is driven by Fleet Manager Evert Verhage - who works across both councils - and arranges delivery of the brushes to Zoos SA staff.

You can watch the sweepers in action at the Adelaide Zoo on YouTube.

Zookeeper Meg Williams said the brushes were popular new additions to various enclosures.

“Lots of our animals do love enrichment. It’s a huge part of being in a zoo and working in a zoo,” she said.

“It’s exciting for them, it’s something new that we can present to them, and it just makes us really happy as well seeing them really happy.

“Being able to recycle the sweepers has been incredible because we are a charity organisation that loves to recycle and reuse.

“We’ve worked well with the City of Marion and the City of Charles Sturt to bring this idea to life.”

Ms Williams said the zookeepers loved seeing the animals interact with the brushes.

“The goats are by far my favourite! They all want to explore the brush when we give it to them as enrichment,” she said.

“The tortoises are a highlight because they do a little side-to-side dance when they scratch. It’s really fun for us, as well as the animals.”

The partnership is exploring ways to expand the program by using other discarded items or involving more animals, such as those at Monarto Safari Park.

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