Evergreen enjoyment

It’s time to take down the trimmings, so our animals are helping recycle festive firs from the zoo’s Winter Wonderland Grotto.

As we hit Twelfth Night, traditionally time to take down Christmas trees and decorations to avoid bad luck, dozens of firs from the 11th century castle courtyard are now being used for New Year enrichment.

Our Asiatic lionesses Kyra and Asha were among the first to be given the trees which were also shared with our Carpathian lynx, meerkats, Sumatran tigers, chimps, lar gibbons, Bornean orangutans and macaques.

Keeper Josh Luxton said: “Kyra and Asha were fascinated by the heady pine scent and bristly texture of the trees.

“Once the firs lose their scent we can spray them with perfume or hide meat in between the branches to give the lionesses different experiences.”

Any trees not reused with the animals are turned into wood chippings by our gardeners, which are then spread across the zoo site so nothing is wasted.