PHOTOS: Leftover Christmas Trees Become Treats for Oakland Zoo Animals
Christmas may be over but animals at the Oakland Zoo are savoring every last bite, er, minute of the season.
Local Christmas tree farms gifted leftover trees to the animals, as snacks for some and enrichment for others.
The zoo says that elephants, giraffes, zebras, camels, and goats enjoyed the tree branches as an appetizer, while baboons and otters had fun hunting through pine needles for hidden treats.
"The elephants and other animals at Oakland Zoo will be spreading the holiday cheer far past New Year's Day as they enjoy the scrumptious taste of a noble or Douglas fir," said Gina Kinzley, co-elephant manager. "While elephants may enjoy the taste, other animals use the trees for furniture or hiding places as well as an air freshener. Over the years, the elephants have gotten picky, and prefer to dine on noble firs."
Crystal River Christmas Trees and Brent's Christmas Trees made the donation and the public has also generously feted the animals with gifts through an Amazon Wishlist put together by zookeepers. Click here to see the treats that Santa may have forgotten.
While squirrel monkeys don't typically munch on trees, they've fashioned their noble firs into jungle gyms — oh what fun!