Sunday, April 15, 2012

Matzah Comes to the Animals at the Ramat Gan Zoo

Have you had your fill of matzah yet?  The mountainous stacks of five-pound matzah boxes have finally disappeared from supermarkets everywhere and we don't mind not seeing them until they show up as one of the first signs of spring next year.

But not all of the matzah was consumed by the world's human population. After all, why shouldn't we share such a delicacy with the animal kingdom? We doubt that the world's zookeepers switched to a matzah diet last week, but we know for sure that's exactly what the zookeepers at Israel's Ramat Gan Safari did with their population.

As Daniella Ashkenazy wrote this month in, of the weirdest holiday sights one can find Only-in-Israel is gorillas and elephants munching on matzah in the Ramat Gan Safari…and not because the park’s caretakers couldn’t stock up on stale bread for a week; in fact, the Safari invites Israelis to donate unwanted hametz to feed the elephants prior to the holiday rather than discard it.  But once the holiday kicks in, because Jewish law prohibits leavening being “seen or found” during Passover, handlers feed the residents matzah for a solid week so as not to offend religiously-observant families who flock to the zoo during Passover week.
In this video the denizens of the Ramat Gan Safari, including coatimundi, gorillas, orangutans, and elephants delight in the annual change of menu. Enjoy!

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