Katrina Eschweiler has 3,000 hungry diners to satisfy every day of the year, an enviable client base for any eatery in these turbulent times. But they’re not your usual clientele.
They’re the year-round inhabitants of the Denver Zoo, and feeding more than 450 species is a painstaking, serious business. The coronavirus has made the task more daunting.
The zoo was closed nearly three months early in the pandemic, then imposed restrictions on crowd sizes since reopening to the public June 12. That has cut into profits and led the zoo to join other zoos around the country in turning to supporters asking for donations to cover the nearly $1 million annual food budget for the facility’s denizens.
The hay and vegetables for Groucho, a 12,000-pound Asian elephant, costs $76,000 a year.