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A local supermarket is helping Paignton Zoo deliver fruit and veg to monkeys and giraffes.

Waitrose in Torquay regularly donates surplus stock to charities and has recently partnered with Paignton Zoo to supply unwanted vegetables and fruit. Surplus stock has been delivered almost every week since May, when the branch became a member of the Zoo’s SOS Club for businesses.

Partners from Waitrose Torquay, including Michelle Bailey, Nathan Eales, David Grove and Matthew Nickels, visited the Zoo to meet the animals and deliver a box of fresh vegetables and fruit for Yoda the giraffe and his family.

Paignton Zoo Director of Operations and Curator of Mammals Neil Bemment said: “We spend around £275,000 a year on animal feed, with vegetables and fruit making up £140,000 of that. Anything we can do to reduce the cost to the charity is great news! Waitrose offer us an excellent selection of fresh produce such as carrots, lettuce, broccoli, grapes and oranges.”

Zoo stores-man Nick Rogers added: “Most of the vegetables are used by the Mammal Department, for example any carrots, broccoli and leeks tend to go to the gorillas and orang utans, peppers, fennel and sweetcorn is delivered to Monkey Heights for the primates. Giraffe and elephant are the biggest consumers of lettuce and cabbage. Most fruit goes to the Bird Department.”

Branch Manager, Waitrose Torquay, Katie Warren, said: “It’s great to be able to give back to the local community in Torbay, and this partnership provides a fantastic opportunity to use surplus produce that might otherwise go to waste, to support a good cause.” Paignton Zoo Environmental Park is a registered charity. For more information go to www.paigntonzoo.org.uk or ring 01803 697500.

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