Making Mammoth Meals with the Zoo Chef
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Making Mammoth Meals with the Zoo Chef


– I cook for warthogs,
emu, lions, tigers, hyenas, spoonbill, sun bear, flamingo and giraffe. They can be very picky. Every morning, I am preparing
around 350 pounds of food. My name is Stacy Kyles,
and I prepare the food for the animals at the Oakland Zoo. I’m also known as the zoo chef. My day starts off very early,
before the sun even comes up. I’ve gotta get the food for the animals, or we have nothing to prepare. – [Radio DJ] Showers
across northern California. – The calm before the storm
of getting to the market. I need to get about a ton of food today, literally. (exhales) The produce market’s kind of hectic. You’ve got a lot of forklifts
running back and forth. You’ve got trucks everywhere. There’s a lot to choose from. I have to stay organized, or
this can get very overwhelming. I’ve got a huge market
that I’ve gotta go through, I’ve gotta pick out the right produce, so I’ve got a limited amount
of time at the market, because I have to get back
here to prepare the diets. I open the door to the
kitchen, and then I know my day has truly begun. (light operatic music) Sun bears, 48 grams apple. Coatimundi, three
hard-boiled eggs cut in half. Lions, 10 bones and five—
Twenty ounces of grapes off the vine— Seven servings—
—and two whole bananas 60 grams of crickets, one drop vitamin E— 44 grams banana (Stacy’s
voiceovers overlapping each other). The zoo itself as a whole prepares about a thousand diets a day. So that’s anywhere from the elephants down to the leafcutter ants
and all the little reptiles and all the little frogs. (lively instrumental music) it’s important that we get the diets right because the animals
can’t send the food back. They can’t tell us, oh I don’t like this. We don’t take days off. Everything still has to happen. The food get prepared exactly the same way every single day. I tried telling them
it was Christmas once, they didn’t pay attention. (lively instrumental music)

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