Loving the leaves

Fallen leaves are providing piles of fun – and the odd snack – for our primate collection here at DZG.

Keepers across our lower and upper primate sections collect leaf litter to make feeding times more interesting for the animals and many, including our black howler monkeys, like to munch on the crispier ones.

Senior Primate Keeper Jodie Dryden said: “Fallen leaves provide great enrichment for all our primates as it gives them a different texture to experience and encourages foraging.

“They love to eat the crispy ones and we hide treats or grate food in piles of leaves so they have to rummage through them to find something tasty to eat.”

Conservation Officer Chris Leeson said leaves also made cosy homes for hedgehogs in the wild.

He said: “Hedgehogs dig their way into a pile of leaves to hibernate and that’s why people need to be extra careful when clearing leaves at home and avoid using anything sharp, such as a garden fork.”