Lincoln and Omaha zoo repurpose fallen trees after weekend storms

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LINCOLN, Neb, (KLKN)- Lincoln Children’s Zoo and Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo have given animals tons of food sources after the most recent storms.

Shrubbery or “browse” is a crucial nutritional element in animals’ diets at the Lincoln and Omaha Zoos.

Following weeks of extensive storm damage caused by fallen trees, the two zoos are utilizing the clean-up efforts to benefit their local communities.

Lincoln Children Zoo’s CEO, Evan Killeen, says their dedicated horticulture team collects browse from the grounds regularly to supply the giraffes.

The children’s zoo is also partnered with Lincoln Electric System, to locate specific outages and fallen trees within Lincoln.

“Asplunduh will bring us browse for our browse loving animals such as giraffe,” Killeen said. “All browse is fresh, untreated, not sprayed with chemicals…”

Omaha’s zoo collects browse locally and as far out as Gretna to provide for their animals.

Browse Team Leader in Omaha, Dakota Wagner says the nutrients bring animals behavioral enrichment and clean-up after major storms.

“It mostly depends on how quickly we can get to it and what the weather’s like really because if it’s not too hot, it’ll last for a few days, but the main animals who benefit from that are elephants.”

The Lincoln and Omaha zoo both reuse the trees for animals to forage allowing animals to feel closer to the wild and giving communities much-needed cleaning when faced with severe weather.

If you live in a community with debris from recent storms and want to know if the trees can be used, check online at, or

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