Riverbanks comPOOst

It’s heavy doodie. 100% all-natural, composted Zoo poo, effortlessly produced by some of Riverbanks Zoo and Garden’s most famous animals:


It’s a long trip from leaf to comPOOst.

The giraffe’s 18-inch tongue grabs leaves to be chewed. When swallowed, leaves travel 6 feet into the stomach. Since giraffes have four chambered stomachs, a ball of pre-chewed food (or cud) visibly travels back up for more chewing. This happens several times. It’s swallowed for the last time, processed, and then nice, neat pellets are dropped another 6 feet.

Total travel distance? About 43.5 feet, not including processing in the stomach!


Forget social media… white rhinos get their status updates from sniffing dung!

That’s right! Rhinos share a communal commode where they leave behind more than just droppings. With just a quick sniff, rhinos can learn the age, sex, general health, and reproductive status of other rhinos in the area. We might think of droppings as a pile of waste, but rhino restrooms provide a great form of communication.

Tipping the scales at two-tons, rhinos are known to drop plenty of piles of nutrient-rich poo!


For zebras it’s all about quantity, not quality. Grass, leaves, sticks, roots, bark—it’s all good!

They have fast digestive systems that actually ferment vegetation to extract the nutrients they need. They’ll spend about 65% of the day eating when conditions are good and about 80% of the day grazing when food is scarce. Now that’s getting your money’s worth at the all-u-can-eat buffet!

The final product is grassy pellets—and no, they’re not striped.

Why comPOOst?

  • Returns nutrients and organic material into the soil.
  • Improves soil capacity to retain moisture and other nutrients.
  • Loosens heavy clay soil and promotes healthy root systems.
  • Reduces material sent to the landfill.
  • Eliminates chemical runoff (unlike most commercial fertilizers).
  • Prevents the need for synthetic fertilizers.
  • Proceeds support the conservation efforts at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden.

How to Buy Ready to make a poochase?

  • comPOOst is available year-round at Riverbanks Gift Shop, by the pint for $5.25, and in 2-gallon containers for $13.
  • You can also buy a one-cubic-yard scoop of comPOOst for $50 during our spring and fall load sales. Load sales are announced on the Riverbanks homepage when available.

How Doo-Doo You Use It? Using comPOOst is easy. Just think of it as good money going to waste, but with spectacular results.

comPOOst Containers

Mix four parts commercial potting soil with one part comPOOst. To feed perennials, apply a 1-inch thick layer of comPOOst around the base of each plant.

Bulk comPOOst

For new beds, spread a 2–3 inch layer of comPOOst over the surface of soil. Till comPOOst into soil at a depth of 4–6 inches. One load of comPOOst should cover about 100 sq. ft. when applied at the 2-inch rate. For existing beds, spread a one inch layer of comPOOst around existing plants.