Zookeepers at Drusillas Zoo Park in East Sussex have been treating their animals to some Easter themed egg-richment activities to celebrate the holidays.
Animals including sloths, lemurs, meerkats, camels, and armadillos were introduced to easter baskets full of colourful wooden eggs to encourage them to investigate, explore and interact with the unusual items as part of their daily enrichment programmes. Each day in the zoo, the 800+ animals are offered new items, puzzles and activities to keep their minds stimulated and healthy.
Head keeper, Gemma Romanis, talked about the programmes: “Just like humans, animals need to experience new and exciting things in their day to keep them stimulated. In addition, with our animals, introducing new and unusual things helps encourage them to use natural and instinctive behaviours such as recognising scents, foraging, and solving problems. If we just handed them food in the same way every day, they would lose their natural abilities as wild animals to fend for themselves.”
Gemma continued; “It’s always great fun during the holidays to theme our enrichment and we’ve not introduced toy eggs in this way before, so it’s fascinating to see how the different species react to the same thing. For example, our common marmosets and sloths were very hesitant and did lots of tentative sniffing and checking before they interacted, but our naughty armadillos and lemurs dived straight and started grabbing things without giving it a second’s thought!”
Drusillas, who offer adventure play, family rides, splash pad and dinosaur walk-through in addition to the Zoo, have also created a park-wide Easter Egg Hunt for human visitors, to raise money for their Charity of the Year, Wolo Foundation – who support families in Sussex
affected by cancer. Anyone visiting the Park can take part in the activity until 18th April in return for a small donation to the charity.