Detroit Zoo saves more than $98K a year by breeding its own crickets

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By: Mike Householder/Associated Press

ROYAL OAK, Mich. (AP) — Detroit Zoo officials are chirping about a new program they say will make it easier and cheaper to feed their attractions.

A cricket-breeding initiative allows the zoo to avoid the steep costs associated with flying in the leaping insects that are part of the daily diet for its 1,900 amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals.

Crickets historically have carried the highest cost of all food sources at the zoo — including meat, fish and produce — at more than $98,000 a year.

The Detroit Zoological Society projects it will save about $225,000 in the first three years.

The cricket-breeding operation is being housed in a newly renovated section of the zoo’s commissary, and 4,000 adult breeder crickets were brought in to get the project off the ground.