FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) Indiana Michigan Power and the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo have created a partnership called “Branch to Browse” which makes use of the electric utility’s forestry program to help feed many of the animals.

Many zoos use the term “browse” to describe a branch with leaves on it that animals can eat. The browse can also be part of the exhibit.

“Every day the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo feeds browse to the animals that call the Zoo home,” said Rick Schuiteman, Zoo Director. “By feeding on browse, the animals can mimic natural foraging behaviors such
as nibbling leaves, stripping bark and chewing on stems. The Branch to Browse partnership is
another way I&M continues to be an amazing Zoo partner.”

I&M’s forestry professionals identify tree species approved by the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo as appropriate and safe for the animals. Some of the more common species are maple, oak, ash, willow, pear, mulberry and sycamore.

I&M bundles and brings the browse to the zoo by the truckload. Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo
Animal Care staff inspect the trimmings and then deliver browse to the animals. Ordinarily the trimmings would be turned into mulch.

While a number of animals benefit from the browse, it is a major part of the diet for giraffes,
which can eat on average between 20 to 50 pounds of browse a day.