Christmas enrichment for Marco

When I was little I would ask Mum why the animals at Taronga Zoo get their presents before I did, she would say that Santa was so busy delivering children’s presents on Christmas Eve, that he made sure to drop off presents for the animals in early December so they wouldn’t miss out!

I used to believe that, but I’m more grown up now and know that the keepers give the animals presents, not Santa!! He must be way too busy making gifts for human kids and I reckon he asks the keepers to make sure the animals get a cool Christmas treat as they often get cooling icicles.

Well, one of the QBE Free-flight Bird Show cockatoos, Marco, certainly enjoyed his early Christmas present last week. Marco usually flies onto a tree at the Bird Show stage, but no one was really sure how Marco would react to a very different kind of tree that had been set-up for him.

Our cockatoos enjoyed their surprise!

Alan, a volunteer from the Zoo spent 10 hours crafting a Christmas tree made out of cardboard tubes and paper, and held together with lots of paper-mâché. He hid Marco’s favourite sunflower seeds inside the tree as a puzzle. Mum says these sort of puzzles are regularly given to the animals.

Using his bird-skills and powerful beak, Marco tore through the cardboard tree to find his treats and by the time he had finished the tree was completely destroyed!