Australian Zoo Animals Get Into the Holiday Spirit

By Jessie Zhang
Jessie Zhang
Jessie Zhang
Jessie Zhang is a journalist based in Sydney covering Australian news. She holds bachelor's degrees in commerce and music. Contact her at jessie.zhang@epochtimes.com.au.
December 24, 2021 Updated: December 24, 2021

Giraffes, lions, pademelons, quokkas, and echidnas of Sydney’s Taronga Zoo began the Christmas festivities early this week, opening up gift-wrapped food treats and Christmas-themed tasty decorations.

Zookeepers prepared the surprises to get the animals into the holiday spirit, maintain natural foraging skills, and engage with the world around them.

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Giraffes wait patiently for their Christmas-themed gifts. (William West/Getty Images)

While the quokkas and pademelons were more hesitant, the echidnas tucked into hand-made Christmas wreaths peppered with sugar ants, and other animals at the zoo were quick to pounce on the gift-wrapped presents, showing off their foraging skills to uncover the food inside.

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A Cotton-Top Tamarin inspects some Christmas crackers. (William West/Getty Images)

Cotton-top Tamarins, which have a distinctive white mane that sweeps up into a “mohawk” above their head, enjoy eating fruit, insects, lizards, leaves, frogs, and eggs.

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A Cotton-Top Tamarin chows down some edible Christmas decorations. (William West/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, some chimps seemed just as happy playing with the cardboard box packaging.

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Taronga Zoo’s 15-month-old chimpanzee “Fumo” opens one of his Christmas presents. (William West/Getty Images)

Lions Ato and Maya and their four-month-old cubs got to see “snow” for the first time, thanks to a tonne of fishy-smelling ice donated from the Sydney Fish Markets.

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Mother ‘Maya’ and her four lion cubs. (Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

The festive foraging stimulates the animals and includes them in the holiday celebrations.

Jessie Zhang
Jessie Zhang is a journalist based in Sydney covering Australian news. She holds bachelor's degrees in commerce and music. Contact her at jessie.zhang@epochtimes.com.au.