Swiss Zoo Gifts Leftover Christmas Trees To Animals For Food And Stimulation

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A Swiss zoo is using all the unpurchased Christmas trees in the area to gift to their animals so they can nibble on the needles and use the trunks to play with.

Zurich Zoo in the Swiss city of Zurich is using unwanted Christmas trees that remained in shops over the festive period for food and behavioural enrichment tools for the animals.

Zoo Zurich, Nicole Schnyder/Newsflash

The zoo approached retailers, such as Migros, who have been a main sponsor of the animal park for many years, to ask for their leftover Christmas trees.

An annual occurrence, those companies have proven willing to gift their unused trees to the animals and usually deliver them to the zoo in the last days of the year.

The zoo asks that the trees are untreated and unused and, for security reasons, they cannot accept donated trees from private homes.

The trees go to different species of animals, such as elephants, camels, and small camelids like alpacas, llamas and vicunas, but also to various antelopes and other ungulates.

Alpacas nibbling on a Christmas tree at the Zurich Zoo in Switzerland in January 2022. (Zoo Zurich, Dominik Ryser/Newsflash)

The animals eat the needles as a tasty addition to their regular food or simply use the trunks as an interesting object because they are something unfamiliar.

Sometimes the big cats are given Christmas trees so that they can sniff and rub against them.

The number of Christmas trees that come to the zoo animals varies from year to year. This year, the zoo said that around 300 were donated by local businesses and partners.

Most years, Christmas trees also feature on the menu for the zoo animals throughout the month of January.


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Story By: Lee BullenSub-EditorJames King,  Agency: Newsflash

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