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Oregon zoo is giving away… well, poo

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Posted at 9:15 AM, Feb 05, 2015
and last updated 2015-02-05 11:17:23-05

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Oregon Zoo is offering a unique giveaway for gardeners: manure.

Over six Saturdays in February and March, beginning this weekend, the zoo is offering free, unlimited manure compost.

They call it “zoo doo.”

It will be doled out on a first-come, first-scooped basis.

“We use zoo doo to keep our gardens here lush and beautiful,” Rick Hanes said, zoo horticulture manager. “And right now, we’ve got more than enough, so we’re hoping to spread that wealth around.”

Zoo doo is the combined product of animal bedding and manure from the zoo’s elephants, goats, hippos, rhino, gerenuk, giraffes and other herbivores.

It is 100 percent composted onsite, zoo workers said.

“The stuff we’ve got right now works great as a decorative top mulch,” Hanes said. “It contains a fair amount of wood chips used for animal bedding, but it’s head and shoulders above bark dust in terms of the nutrients it provides.”

The surplus compost will be available between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. on Feb. 7, 21 and 28, as well as March 7, 14 and 21.

Tractor assistance from zoo staff is available for larger loads and a U-load space will be available for smaller amounts.

People need to bring their own containers.

Anyone interested can come to the zoo composting facility just inside Gate A, located a couple hundred feet up the hill after exiting Highway 26.