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"Tree bien! Unbeleafable!" Belfast Zoo sends a warm thank-you to all Christmas tree donators

Date: 23 Jan 2019

Meerkat

Shortly after Christmas 2018, Belfast zoo sent out a call requesting for the public to donate any natural Christmas trees and were amazed with the response!

The trees are for the purpose of animal enrichment, which is something that is of high importance to the zoo and carried out in many different forms on a regular basis. 

Zoo manager Alyn Cairns said “With over 500 trees being donated throughout January, we were reminded of the kindness and generosity that is often shown by our visitors.   I would like to take this opportunity to extend our greatest gratitude to anyone who took the time to provide our animals with a tree this winter.”

Alyn continues, “We have ran this campaign for a number of years already and continue to do so as the Christmas trees are a great form of enrichment for many of our animals. They are extremely tactile, have a strong scent, can be used for the animals to sleep and shelter under and are also a good snack for some of the larger animals!

The festive firs have already started to be used around the Cave Hill site and will be given to a variety of animals including Barbary lions, elephants, apes, primates, birds and meerkats. When the animals have finished with the trees, they will be chipped down into bark to ‘spruce’ up the animal enclosures. It’s been great to see the public get behind the project and it’s fantastic that our visitors are able to say that their tree went straight from their living room to the elephant enclosure”

Although the deadline for donating Christmas trees has already passed, there are many other ways you can get involved with animal enrichment, including;

  • clothes
  • bed sheets, duvet covers, pillow cases
  • logs
  • cardboard carpet tubes
  • cardboard tubes
  • unused pet toys
  • tools
  • fire hose
  • hanging baskets
  • unbreakable mirrors
  • clear plastic tubes
  • pine cones
  • sacks
  • bungee cord
  • brush or mop heads (natural materials only)
  • netting
  • barrels
  • kongs