Christmas came early for Perth Zoo’s animals today, who enjoyed some classic Christmas cheer as part of the Zoo’s regular enrichment program.     

Perth Zoo Keeper Marty Boland said: “Enrichment at the Zoo is designed to engage the natural instincts and abilities of the animals, keeping them physically and mentally stimulated.”

“We add a festive twist for special occasions and the novelty sparks the curiosity of our animals.”

Dingo siblings, Daku and Mirri, encountered a jolly visitor on their morning walk, Santa! All the way from the North Pole, Santa has set up his cabin at the Zoo for a few weeks, offering the perfect photo opportunity for families. It’s free with Zoo entry (our Christmas gift to you)!

“Daku and Mirri are very intelligent and well behaved so it’s no surprise they made it on to Santa’s nice list,” Marty said.

Using their super sense of smell, the dingos sniffed out their early gifts hidden in wrapped boxes.

Further along the Asian Rainforest, critically endangered Sumatran Tiger, Jaya, was presented with a traditional Christmas feast laid on a decorative dining table, made from cardboard.

“Jaya was intrigued by the elaborate setup, but as expected for a tiger, it didn’t take him long to tear into his meal, giving visitors the opportunity to see his predatory skills.”

In the African Savannah, five Slender-tailed Meerkats had a busy morning investigating their early Christmas surprise.

Working as a team, one meerkat stood at sentry duty as the others pulled open the Christmas Crackers scattered throughout their exhibit.  

“Behavioural enrichment is an important element of animal care at Perth Zoo and it shows our visitors the extraordinary abilities of our wildlife,” Marty said.

“Pet owners can do a lot of these activities with their animals at home to keep them fit, healthy and happy too.” 

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 for the new family friendly Zoochella event.

In January 2020 the Zoo will also be staying up late every Saturday night until 7:30pm.