Chimps tuck into tasty oats
October 10, 2011 § Leave a comment
This annual global event gives porridge enthusiasts the chance to celebrate one of Scotland’s favourite national dishes, whilst raising awareness of the life-saving work of Scottish-based charity Mary’s Meals.
Porridge provides a delicious breakfast for people all over the UK, but for over 479,000 school-children in Malawi – who receive a daily mug of maize-based, porridge-like ‘likuni phala’ from Mary’s Meals – it is a powerful incentive to go to school and, for many, the only nutritious meal they will have that day.
And the nutritional benefits of ‘oat cuisine’ are not lost on the keepers at Edinburgh Zoo, who feed sizeable portions of porridge to their chimpanzees four times every week.
Enthusiastic chimps like Louis, Lucy, Lyndsey and Liberius always go ape for their oats – alongside a wide selection of fruits and vegetables, as part of a varied diet which is designed to make sure they get all the nutrients they need.
Dee Masters, Budongo Trail Team Leader, commented: “Porridge is of fantastic benefit to the 21 chimps in Edinburgh Zoo’s Budongo Trail. It’s great for their digestive system and it fills them up just like it would a human.
“We make the porridge from scratch with water and oats, sometimes adding extras like bananas, yoghurt, raisins, honey or sunflower seeds. The chimpanzees absolutely love it. We put their porridge into plastic bottles so they can drink the mixture or use sticks as tools to pull it out. They’re always sure to drain every last drop.”
Abeer Macintyre, head of supporter care at Mary’s Meals, said: “We’re delighted that the chimps at Edinburgh Zoo will be marking World Porridge Day in their own unique way. We invite everyone around the world to have an oat-based dish on October 10 as a show of solidarity with children for whom this is the only meal of the day.”