Everybody poops, especially zoo animals. And the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is implementing a new sustainability practice to turn all that waste into something useful.
The Cincinnati Zoo is the greenest zoo in America and according to its More Home to Roam campaign, part of its goal is to become the first zoo to achieve Net Zero energy, waste and water status.
And while producing more solar power than they consume and capturing 100 percent of rainwater to use in habitats are both very cool initiatives, people are pretty, pretty interested in the poop. Especially Fiona turds, which you may soon be able to buy.
"The Zoo produces about 1,000 tons of organic waste per year. An elephant poops up to 300 LBS PER DAY," says Michelle Curley, communications director for the Cincinnati Zoo via email. "The new in-vessel composting, which will be up and running in 2022, will take ALL of that organic waste and make it into compost. That compost will be used around the Zoo, at Bowyer Farm, and sold at the Zoo shop."
You can buy poop from lions and tigers and bears, but the masses want hippo poop.
"Fiona poop will be used to fertilize gardens all over the tri-state! It is not yet available, and pricing has not been established," Curley says.
While the poop packaging concept isn't yet complete, Curley says it is likely that Fiona's poo will be sold separately — because people will pretty much buy anything Fiona branded — and that package sizing has also not yet been determined.
But until you can buy actual shit from the Zoo, you can donate to their More Home to Roam campaign. The organization is raising funds to do everything from installing a new and larger pool and viewing cave for the African penguins to making improvements to the historical Elephant House to funding the kangaroo habitat's outdoor enrichment areas.
The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is located at 3400 Vine St., Avondale.