The Zoo could use your yard trimmings

Tina RolenEast Knox, Our Town Outdoors

We need your trees, please!

Zoo Knoxville African elephants enjoy trees as a major part of their diets. Tonka, Jana and Edie each enjoy 200-300 pounds of tree browse a day, and they especially enjoy root balls, which they “read” like a newspaper. As you can imagine, that’s a big salad bar to keep supplied.

Please note: We can only accept browse that have not been sprayed with any chemicals or pesticides. Our elephants and giraffe enjoy eating the leaves, bark and green stems from the trimmed tree branches.

Please contact the zoo before coming to drop off browse by calling 865-637-5331, ext. 1281 or emailing We are not able to come out and pick up browse. Please wait until you talk with someone before delivering items to the Zoo.

Favorite giraffe and elephant browse:

  • Bradford Pear
  • Dogwood
  • Sugar Maple
  • Silver Maple
  • Mulberry
  • Chestnut Oak
  • White Oak
  • Hickory
  • Eastern Redbud
  • River Birch
  • Box Elder
  • Elm
  • Hackberry
  • Honey Suckle (not in berry because they are toxic)
  • Mimosa
  • Grape Vine
  • Willow Tree

For more info on becoming a member at Zoo Knoxville, go here.

Tina Rolen is director of marketing and communications at Zoo Knoxville.

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