Taronga Zoo’s 15 month old chimp, Fumo was very excited by the presents but also played with the cardboard packaging.
Taronga’s senior primate keeper, Lou Grossfeldt said, “Christmas is always an exciting time for us, so we like to share that joy with the animals. The Chimpanzees received some extra treats today, with some brightly-coloured boxes full of special treats and shredded paper to encourage them to have a bit of a forage.”
A number of other animals around the zoo also received their holiday treats. The Goodfellow’s Tree Kangaroos, Kwikila and her daughter Nupela were given a Christmas decorated with their favourite fruits and flowers. They used their magnificent climbing ability to reach the tree tops where keepers placed the treat.
The cotton top tamarins were given little bon-bons that they tore apart to find treats of mealworms and maggots.
Finally the giraffes were given giant food filled baubles and fruit iceblocks. Their keeper, Johny Wade said, “Christmas may only come once a year, but environmental enrichment is something we incorporate into the lives of our remarkable giraffes every day. Today’s enrichment items encourage the giraffes to use their amazing 20-inch tongues to retrieve the food and show off the natural skills and behaviours they would in the wild.”
Enrichment is important as Lou explained, “These enrichment activities provide important mental and physical stimulation for our animals, providing them with opportunities to show off the skills they have developed to be successful survivors in the wild.”
Photo Credits: Taronga Zoo/ Paul Fahy