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Where In the Town: Behind the scenes at the Denver zoo

11:30 AM, Feb 23, 2013   |    comments
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KUSA - Our morning show Where In The Town Secret Places series took Gregg Moss behind the scenes of the Denver Zoo where he learned what it takes to feed more than 3,000 hungry animals every day.

The Denver Zoo Commissary is where staffers have to prepare meals for the zoo's 3,800 animals representing 650 different species.

Zoo Commissary Fun Facts

*395 pounds of meat and seafood consumed daily
*455 pounds of produce eaten daily
*1,500 pounds hay and alfalfa fed daily
*2.1 million mice, crickets and worms yearly

Gregg also spent time in the zoo's Bird Propagation area, where zookeepers nurture week-old nene or Hawaiian geese chicks.

The name "nene" comes from the sound of their soft calls, which sound like "nay nay." The goose is the state bird of Hawaii and can now only be found on four of the Hawaiian Islands; Hawaii, Maui, Molokai, and Kauai.

With a wild population of about 1,200 individuals, they are classified as vulnerable by the World Conservation Union (IUCN). This is due both to a lack of a suitable habitat as well as falling prey to animals such as small Indian mongoose, pigs, dogs, rats and cats.

Gregg learned the nene goose is closely related to the Canada goose. On average, they stand about 16 inches tall and weigh between three to five pounds. Adults have black heads, bills, legs and feet.

Their necks are known to have deep ruts of feathers and a solid black stripe running down the back. Unlike other geese, their feet are only half-webbed, which allows them to more easily walk and run across the rocky, uneven terrain of lava beds. They are known, though to inhabit grasslands, pastures and coastal dunes as well.

Editor's Note

Gregg's visit was inspired by a viewer suggestion. Do you have a secret place you'd like him to check out? Please email mornings@9news.com

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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