Monarto Zoo’s cheeky chimps received an early Christmas surprise today as Santa Claus made the first stop on his present-delivery schedule.
Our troop of eight chimps have been extra good this year to make sure the chimp habitat was the first stop on Santa’s present delivery schedule.
Zoo keepers have been busy doubling as Santa’s little helpers, preparing beautifully wrapped presents, yummy treats and Christmas decorations to spread the festive cheer.
Monarto Zoo Senior Primate Keeper Laura Hanley says the Chimpmas party was particularly exciting for the youngsters of the troop, one-year-old Enzi and his four-year-old sister Zuri.
“We have been working hard all week with our zoo volunteers to prepare the decorations and presents,” Laura says.
“Our chimps are incredibly curious and cheeky and were so excited to explore their present-laden habitat, particularly Zuri and Enzi who just love playing together.
“Enzi is old enough to really enjoy the festivities this year and loved playing with the colorful gifts with the rest of the troop.
“It was a big day for Enzi with lots of excitement. He has a big nap in the afternoon to recover from all of the fun.”
The giving of Christmas presents forms part of the important daily animal enrichment program at Monarto Zoo.
Zoo keepers use enrichment like this to provide variety every day for the animals, to create an environment that allows for physical and mental choices and challenges, as well as encouraging the use of natural behaviours.
Monarto Zoo is home to an amazing troop of eight endangered chimpanzees, our closest living relative sharing approximately 98.7% of our DNA.
As a conservation charity, we’re doing our bit to help save these amazing creatures from extinction through our part in an international breeding program and support of the Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary in the Upper Guinea Forest in Sierra Leone
Over the Christmas period, visitors to the zoo will be able to take part in the festive cheer as they see a variety of animals receive Christmas treats and toys.
Both Adelaide and Monarto Zoos are open 365 days a year including Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day for those looking for a unique way to celebrate the festive season. thanjs
With thanks to Amy Atherton for the photos.