For my birthday I was told we were off to the mountains to see snow leopards, bears and red pandas. I thought I was in for a trip to the Himalayas, but after a 20 minute drive we arrived at the Welsh Mountain Zoo in nearby Colwyn Bay. My treat was to be zoo keeper for a day and my first job was to feed the bears.
For their breakfast they like fresh and dried fruit and nuts with a special dried bear food mix. Looking at it, I realised it was a bit like my breakfast—apart from I use muesli. The animal mix actually looked a bit similar, except that it’s made out of corn, soya, eggs and vitamins. So it’s high in protein to satisfy a hungry bear.
I learned a lot about the animals in the zoo. The bears were rescued from circuses in Eastern Europe and now enjoy a quiet retirement with their own den and wooded enclosure.
To keep the animals active, we hid their breakfast in various places so they had to forage to find it. I have also been doing the same recently by picking blackberries during my walk. Like the bears this helps keep me more alive and alert.
During the day at the zoo, I realised that all the animals are on a really good diet! This is not surprising because the keepers want them to be healthy, happy and active. Also vet bills are really expensive, plus people don’t want to see sick animals. The keepers wouldn’t think of giving them cheap white bread, sugary drinks or too much meat. That stuff is for humans!
It’s ironic that the zoo animals eat more healthily than most people, and follow a lot of my ‘Keith on Food’ guidelines. When I was young, my mother used to say, ‘Don’t eat like an animal’. But it seems that that has changed and we would be better off eating their diet than ours.
Below is my quiz to check how bearable you are right now.
How Bearable are You? Quiz
- Sleep deeply and wake up hungry and grumpy
- Like walking in the woods
- Eat honey with nuts and fresh fruit
- Enjoy bear hugs
- Watching fish in the river
- Have a good sense of smell
- Standing up and making a lot of noise.
- Having your own den
- Taking your cubs tracking
- Eat Keith’s Bear Breakfast.
Mostly yes: You are a very bearable person, keep it up!
Mostly no: You are totally unbearable, start by eating some of Keith’s Bear Breakfast right now.
Here is the Bear Breakfast recipe, it is part of Keith’s Zoo Diet for Humans.
Keith's Bear Breakfast
2 tbsp – goji berries
2 tbsp – sunflower seeds
1 x tbsp tahini
handful fresh berries
2 tbsp kefir
120ml milk or almond milk
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cardamon
- Soak the oats, goji berries and seeds in the water overnight.
- In the morning stir in the kefir, tahini and fresh berries.
- Heat the milk with the spices, and pour the hot milk into the muesli. Stir and enjoy.