Mich. Zoo Goes After Untapped Exotic Animal Excrement Market to Raise Cash

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
May 28 2014 6:51 PM

This Zoo Is Selling Its Exotic Animals’ Poop to Raise Cash

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Michigan zoo goes after untapped zoo animal excrement market.

Photo by Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images

While it’s a bit less conventional than, say, a bake sale or a car wash, a Michigan zoo has come up with a novel fundraising scheme: sell its animals’ poop. It’s a pretty straightforward business proposition: the zoo, by virtue of having lots of animals, is also home to lots of animal waste. The Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek, Michigan is simply matching its supply with the market (read: gardeners) demand.

Here’s nitty gritty laid pretty bare in the Kalamazoo Gazette:

Jenny Barnett, director of wildlife conservation and education at Binder Park Zoo, said the droppings are mixed with some hay, "but mostly it's just manure that's been turned several times, that's been there a long time," from 3 months to a year, she said. "We don't include carnivore or monkey poop," Barnett said. The zoo did not make manure available last year, so there is "yards and yards" of it now, Barnett said.
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The opportunity to have a mixture of zebra, antelope, and giraffe manure—as opposed to your ho-hum over the counter manure—will cost you $30 for a truckload.

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.