Christmas came early for Perth Zoo’s animals today who enjoyed festive treats as part of the Zoo’s regular enrichment program.

On the main lake, Lemur Island was transformed into a festive wonderland, with decorations in the trees and hanging items providing enrichment for the furry residents.

Three Black-and-white Ruffed Lemurs, Maphuti, Marco and Gidro, enjoyed exploring the colourful new objects on their Island home.

Sherina Trevean, Perth Zoo Keeper said “As arboreal primates, the lemurs spend most of their time in the trees, so we chose items that encouraged their incredible climbing skills and engaged their natural curiosity.”

“Enrichment is something we do daily, but at Christmas we like to add a festive twist to the activities.”

Galapagos Tortoise brothers, Cerro and Sierra, enjoyed edible red and green Christmas wreaths made from some of their favourite fruits and flowers.

Whilst in the African Savannah, the 11 African Painted Dog adolescents are getting set to experience their first Christmas. As an early gift, meaty treats were hidden in Christmas boxes encouraging them to forage and hunt.

Becky Thomasson, Perth Zoo Senior Keeper said: “Thanks to the success of our breeding program, we have more African Painted Dogs at the Zoo, than Santa’s reindeers! But sadly the numbers of this endangered species in the wild remains dangerously low!”

The Zoo works with Painted Dog Conservation Inc to help protect these misunderstood predators in their wild habitat via anti-poaching units, research, community outreach programs and treatment of sick or injured animals.

The festive treats are extra special for Christmas but behavioural enrichment is a year round activity that is an important part of caring for the animals at Perth Zoo and allows visitors the opportunity to learn more about the extraordinary abilities of wildlife.

“Many of these activities are something pet owners can do for their animals at home too,” Becky said.

Perth Zoo is open every day from 9:00am – 5:00pm including Christmas Day and Boxing Day. This New Year’s Eve it will close at 3pm to re-open later in the evening for a special Happy Zoo Year event.