Monday, June 4, 2007

Cicadas are a tasty, and healthy, treat for animals at Illinois' Brookfield Zoo

At the Brookfield Zoo, cicadas are a lot more than just really noisy insects: They're delicious treats. These days, a host of animals from bearded dragon lizards to African wild dogs to white-crested laughing thrush birds are enjoying cicadas. Although the cicadas emerging this month after spending 17 years underground may seem like candy to the animals -- crunchy on the outside and soft in the center -- they're actually health food. "They're extremely nutritious and won't impact their (animals') diets because they don't have a lot of fat in them," Tim Sullivan, the zoo's behavioral husbandry manager, said Friday.

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