Giraffe, black and white ruffed lemurs and some native favourites got into the Christmas spirit today as keepers treated them to tasty snacks as part of their daily enrichment programs – this time with a festive twist.
In the Discovery and Learning enclosure, our pair of tamar wallabies and kangaroo had a special Christmas tree made from a woolly bush decorated with fruits and vegetables to enjoy, while the echidna was gifted a Christmas present filled with all of his favourite foods.
On the Primate Trail, lemurs used their trusty noses to sniff out the goodies hiding in wrapped Christmas gifts before tearing in to enjoy the fruit treats inside.
Over in the African Savannah, the giraffe had a visit from Santa Clause, who had borrowed a bunch of Christmas carrots from his reindeer to share with our giraffe herd. This Christmas also marks a special milestone for the giraffe herd, as the two youngest members Akiki and Zahara celebrate their very first festive season.
Perth Zoo Senior Keeper Holly Thompson said Christmas enrichment is a great way for animals to utilise their natural instincts and practise problem-solving skills.
“Enrichment forms an integral part of our animals’ daily lives, but it’s always extra fun to get creative over the festive season and put a festive twist on things,” Holly said.
“As part of our enrichment programs, we aim to engage the animal’s natural curiosity and encourage them to use their species-specific behaviours to sniff out treats or forage, hunt and tear things open.
“Enrichment can come in many forms such as food-based treats, but we also introduce new scents into enclosures with perfumes and herbs or use branches from other neighbouring enclosures to mentally stimulate each animal – this ensures no two days are ever the same.”
Perth Zoo is open every day of the year from 9:00am – 5:00pm, including Christmas Day and Boxing Day. On New Year’s Eve and every Saturday in January it will stay open late until 7.30pm.