Keepers at Noah?s Ark Zoo Farm had a unexpected surprise this week when they realised that the Brown-nosed Coatis had been growing their own fruit in their outside enclosure.
The recession has prompted the resurgence of growing your own fruit and vegetables, and the coatis have decided to follow suit and have started growing large tomato plants in their enclosure, which is situated in the South American section of the zoo.
The coatis, of which is made up of three males and two females are fed tomatoes as part of their normal diet. Coatis are omnivores and have a mixed diet of fruit and vegetables combined with a protein diet of meat and eggs. The coatis consumed the tomatoes and then excreted the seeds, so natural seed dispersal has occurred which has led to several tomato plants sprouting up.
Keeper Emma Godsell explains; ?At first I was wondering what the plants were, we were getting ready to pull them out to tidy up the enclosure and then I noticed the tomatoes growing on there.
It is actually the male coatis who succeeded in growing the biggest amount, they now have 11 plants in their enclosure. We will leave the plants in there for now and when they ripen let the coatis enjoy the benefits of their successful crop?.
The male coatis are made up of the adult male father called Charlie and two juvenile boys called Clifford and Clark. The coatis are on public display to visitors in the South American section of the zoo.
Noah?s Ark Zoo Farm is open Monday- Saturday, 10.30am-5.00pm until 30th November, then it is open Saturdays only until 14th December inclusive.