Bread is off the menu as safari park puts animals on kosher diet

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The Independent Online

Animals at a leading Israeli safari park are being given a fully kosher diet over this year's Passover, requiring a significant change in diet for creatures such as elephants and gorillas.

Animals at a leading Israeli safari park are being given a fully kosher diet over this year's Passover, requiring a significant change in diet for creatures such as elephants and gorillas.

The Ramat Gan Safari - one of the country's most popular attractions - will be feeding its animals with matzos, the brittle unleavened bread customary over the religious holiday which begins on Saturday night. Workers have begun cleaning the animals' habitats and the new diet has started to ensure that as required under Jewish law for humans no chametz - leavened products - will be in the enclosures at Passover.

Elephants and apes at the park normally eat large quantities of bread.

"We're doing a thorough cleaning just like in every Israeli home so that the safari is kosher," said Sagit Horowitz, a spokeswoman for the safari. "The animals will receive a kosher for Passover mix of food and matzos so that by the time Passover arrives there isn't even a single crumb of chametz left near the animals." The animals will have a kosher diet for seven days.

Ms Horowitz said the move was required by the rabbinate as some animal food comes from tithes, the tenth of crops given to priests and the poor.

But the parkalso took into account the sensitivities of its visitors. "Religious and Haredi visitors come to the safari, and it doesn't look good when the elephant eats bread right in front of them."

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