Christmas Surprises!

Christmas Surprises!

#Taronga Zoo Sydney

Posted on 23rd December 2010 by Media Relations

Taronga’s keepers and animal behaviouralists surprised many

of the Zoo animals with Christmas-themed treats and puzzles today.Bethyl, Taronga 33 year old Kodiak Bear, knocked the top

right off a papier-mâché snowman as soon as she smelled the nuts and honey

inside.The Zoo’s Tree Kangaroos, Parum and Salsa, bounded out of

their night dens to discover Santa sacks filled with treats including

watermelon pieces cut in the shape of 

Christmas trees.The pair quickly grabbed the fruit and also enjoyed a snack

of hibiscus flowers.Taronga’s Chimpanzees found colourful bonbons containing

dried fruit and popcorn and there was soon a lot of competition to grab these


The younger chimps used their fantastic agility to snatch

smaller bonbons and scamper to the tops of climbing poles to avoid having them

‘confiscated’ by the older members of the 19-strong group.

At the Meerkat Desert, piñatas shaped like birds, brightly

wrapped boxes and two bonbons containing meal worms and crickets were pounced

on immediately, with some meerkats even crawling right into the boxes to catch

the crickets.

Another meerkat leapt boldly to reach the bonbons.

Encouraging these skills is part of maintaining the animals’

wildness under the Zoos’ commitment maintaining 90% of its wildlife’s genetic

and behavioural diversity over 100 years.

These activities are used year round and are developed and

refined by the keepers and the Zoos’ Behavioural Studies Unit. - Zoo Communications