Elephant Dung Makes Perfect Compost at City Safari in Tel Aviv

elephant-dung-compost-photo

Letting nature take care of itself: Instead of paying a private company to haul away elephant dung every day, caretakers at the Ramat Gan Safari outside of Tel Aviv have found that those 7 kg of dung, per elephant, per day, can save the safari water, and fertilize the plants. 

With 12 elephants at the safari, the compost pile has been growing. According to Ha’aretz, Safari staff are using the compost to seal the irrigation basin around young trees, enabling the water to permeate the roots, while slowing down its evaporation.

“Until about a year ago we used to pay a company to collect the dung with a tractor,” said zoologist Amelia Terkel. “But then we thought, why pay for removing it if we could use it ourselves?” 

The staff piled the droppings in a heap and a few months later sent a sample of the fermented dung to an laboratory to check their suitability for the trees’ environment. 

Two weeks ago the lab results were completed, showing that the dung would be excellent for fertilizing the trees in addition to saving water. 

And like many zoological parks worldwide, the safari is acting to become “greener,” said Terkel.

::Haaretz [photo via mtkopone]

More on animals:

  1. Non-Kosher Turkeys Are Going To The Wolves in Tel Aviv 
  2. Recycling and Deifying Donkey Dung in Israel 
  3. Avi Kuzi the Animal Guardian
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11 thoughts on “Elephant Dung Makes Perfect Compost at City Safari in Tel Aviv”

  1. Aruna Malaviarachchi says:

    Test report for elephant dung for personal reference.

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  4. Joan Weinberg says:

    CRITICS CORNER

    Newsflash: The director of the Ramat Gan Safari is Yehuda Bar. Mr. Bar is a retired army officer. He is the first to admit that 1) he got his job “…because I’m friends with the mayor of Ramat Gan” and 2) “I know nothing about animals.”

    When I saw that the “Big Cats” were traumatized (they’re kept in little cages and thus exhibit pacing behavior, etc.) I had a meeting with Bar and offered to become a fundraiser — free of charge. He admitted 3) “I know nothing about fundraising” and decided it was too much for him to handle.

    In his own words, the Safari is being run by someone whose “talents” at animal and institutional management are questionable.

    The Safari has an internal PR person whose job it is, naturally, to paint a pretty picture of what’s going on at the Safari. Transparency? In Israel? Try to find out why some of the elephants have died (total mismanagement). Other animals have died there but unless someone shines a light on the lack of care, it’s business as usual.

    The dung? I’m glad the trees are benefitting as clearly, under Mr. Bar’s regime — and that of the veterinarian who oversees the environment and animal care in Ramat Gan — the animals are not.

  5. Many of the things that we consider as waste are used very effectively by nature. Nature has its own way of recycling things as it is shown in http://climatarians.org. The ecosystem is one huge recycling plant that we need to learn a lot about from. Your post about the park using the elephants’ dung nicely illustrates that point. We do need to learn how to effectively use the things at our disposal.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Joost Hoogstrate

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