A look at the budget of Matt Damon's menagerie of a movie

By Christian Blauvelt
November 11, 2011 at 05:00 AM EST
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Feeding the cast and crew of director Cameron Crowe’s heartfelt dramedy We Bought a Zoo (not yet rated) wasn’t exactly a day at the…you know. In addition to stars like Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson, the movie features 32 wild animals — including four monkeys, three tigers, three zebras, three camels, two ostriches, two porcupines, two baboons, and a lion. ”The animal actors can be as picky as the humans,” says wrangler Mark Forbes. ”The monkeys may love grapes one day, then refuse to touch them the next.” But even with all the species-specific diets Forbes and his team had to prepare, the animals’ total daily food bill was just a tenth of the humans’. Here’s a breakdown.

Typical Daily Menu
65-70 pounds meat (beef on the bone as well as a ground-up mix of tissue, bones, and organs called ”carnivore diet,” for the lion, three tigers, and two bears)
24 cups Bil-Jac dog food
2-3 cases fruit and vegetables (grapes, bananas, carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, cabbage, berries)
1-3 bags oats (for three zebras and three camels)
3-4 bales hay
100 mealworms (for the two ostriches)
10-20 crickets (for the two otters)
3-5 rats (for the eagle owl and two vultures)
5-8 baby chicks (for the eagle owl and two vultures)
Daily Average: $250

Typical Daily Menu
10-15 gallons coffee
22-23 dozen eggs
20 pounds bacon
50-60 flour tortillas
1 quart salsa
30 pounds potatoes
55-60 pounds fresh vegetables
45 pounds fresh fish
30 pounds beef
100-125 pieces chicken
50 vegetarian entrées
variety of salads (at least five options per day)
1 gallon homemade salad dressing
10 dozen cookies, made from scratch
Daily Average: $2,900

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