Dutch zoo asks pet owners to send in samples of their pet’s poo

Dutch zoo asks pet owners to send in samples of their pet’s poo

Yup, you read that correctly. Regardless of whether your beloved family pet is a Great Dane or a guinea pig, a zoo in Amersfoort is asking pet owners to send in samples of their animal’s excrement in order to conduct extensive research into how different species digest their food

ACTA and DierenPark Amersfoort researching how animals digest food

In a collaboration with the Academic Centre for Dentistry Amsterdam (ACTA), a team at DierenPark Amersfoort is researching the speed at which enzymes break down food, and attempting to learn more about how the process differs between carnivores, herbivores and omnivores. 

In order to create a more complete picture of the animal world, the team needs faeces samples from more than just the species kept at the zoo. So, researchers have made a rather odd request of the general public: drop off your pet’s poo at the animal park between April 22 and May 7 and help the team with their project. 

Drop off your pet's poo before May 7 to support the study!

It doesn’t matter which animal you share a home with; DierenPark Amersfoort needs as many varied samples as they can get their hands on. Dog and cat poo is fine, but something from a slightly more unusual species, such as a gecko or a parakeet, would be “great”, ACTA professor Henk Brand told NU

Thumb: Monika Wisniewska via

Victoria Séveno


Victoria Séveno

Victoria grew up in Amsterdam, before moving to the UK to study English and Related Literature at the University of York and completing her NCTJ course at the Press Association...

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