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Annual acorn and nut collection campaign for animals from the Warsaw Zoo

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deers eat acorns in the Warsaw zoo

The Warsaw Zoo has started this year's campaign to collect treats for its animals. Everyone who wants to join the initiative can bring acorns, walnuts and hazelnuts to the Zoo every day.

The campaign will continue until 2,000 kg of acorns, 200 kg of hazelnuts and 200 kg of walnuts have been collected. Chestnuts will not be accepted, since they are not part of animals’ diet. The treats can be delivered every day between 7 am and 7 pm at the Zoo entrances facing Ratuszowa Street and Gdański Bridge.

Animal caretakers have called for paying attention to the condition and quality of the nuts and acorns. They should be dry, healthy and without insects, and walnuts should not have green shells. The zoo does not accept moldy, rotten or soil-contaminated seeds – they could be bad the animals and spoil the rest of the nuts and acorns.

Which animals will enjoy these treats?

Nuts are a treat for parrots and monkeys, especially baboons. Acorns are eaten by European bisons and sika deer, and even chimpanzees, bongos and giraffes snack on them. And bears will readily munch on both acorns and nuts. Some of the collected snacks will go to the Bird Asylum – a rehabilitation centre for domestic birds. Not everyone knows that acorns can also be a great cure for digestive disorders in animals.

What was it like in the past?

The campaign has a rich history – the Warsaw Zoo has been collecting acorns and nuts for over 40 years and knows that it can count on the support of its friends. In the past the collection was rather local – out of concern for the animals, Warsovians would bring the gifts of autumn, and the campaign lasted from the end of summer to winter. Those who brought a bag of acorns or nuts were allowed to enter the Zoo at no charge. Over time and with the development of social media, information about the collection campaign reached a wider audience, who literally flooded the Zoo with acorns and willingly used free tickets, treating the whole effort as another marketing campaign. That is why in 2019  the Warsaw Zoo decided to no longer give out free tickets, and its “donors” did not disappoint.

After two consecutive campaigns of collecting autumn gifts without consumer bonuses, we know that residents of Warsaw and neighbouring areas love their Zoo and willingly support it, said Andrzej Kruszewicz, the Director of the Warsaw Zoo.

Education

The mission of the Warsaw Zoo is to protect nature by breeding endangered species and providing environmental education. The acorn and nut collection campaign is part of the Zoo's mission. During classes and workshops, as well as in social media, the Zoo draws attention to the fact that acorns and nuts are also used by animals living around us. Acorns are a delicacy for jays, squirrels, and for deer, wild boar and roe deer the autumn acorns are a real feast.

Every year the Warsaw Zoo reminds its visitors to leave some acorns under the trees for the wild inhabitants of the area. The animals in the Zoo are provided with food throughout the year and the acorns are only meant to provide more variety. The animals living in our forests and parks, on the other hand, have to search for food themselves.