Auckland Zoo’s elephants, Kashin and Burma, were in for a whopping great treat when they were presented with a trailerload of giant reed (Arundo donax) by Weedfree Waitakere Trust, as part of their War on Weeds project.
Giant reed is a major problem along Waitakere waterways, rapidly smothering streambanks. It is one of the fastest growing terrestrial plants in the world, growing almost 10cm a day. It is also difficult to control and doesn't break down very well, so composting is out of the question.
Once Weedfree Waitakere’s Community Project Manager Neil Henderson discovered pachyderms are partial to a bit of this giant invader, eating up to 200kg of in a day, it was no problem keeping them supplied with this special weedy treat!