Emergency rations

Male sealion Oba enjoyed some emergency rations when keepers tucked treats into old fire hose donated by West Midlands Fire Service.

The 18-year-old Patagonian sealion, who weighs in at more than 37 stone, loved freeing sprats from the plaited hose feeding device, which was made by Keepers Cheyenne Darkins and Josh Luxton to make his snack time more interesting.

Josh said: “Oba really loved the enrichment exercise and managed to pull all the fish out of the plaited shape.

“The device floated as well so it was great watching him nudge it about the pool. It kept him busy for a good couple of hours.”

West Midlands Fire Service generously donated spare supplies to the zoo in the summer for use across all our animal sections.

The 40 coils of fire hose, a new stand pipe and 15 hosepipes with couplings will be used to clean the sealion pool as well as produce play equipment and toys for some of our 1,600-strong collection.

Fire hose will be made into hammocks and climbing nets for our primates as well as more feeding devices, similar to the one Oba has just lapped up.