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Mad Hatter’s Tea Party!

Mad Hatter’s Tea Party! Drusillas’ Creative Animal Enrichment

Zookeepers at Drusillas Park have been getting creative with their animal enrichment programme. Today keepers created a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party for their lucky rabbits and guinea pigs.

The banquet was lovingly prepared by zookeepers and set up on a specially made table. The little critters were even treated to a fancy white tablecloth, which amazingly stayed clean despite the messing eating!

Deputy Head Keeper, Gemma Romanis, said: “Here at Drusillas we like to do lots of different enrichment for our animals. We do this for a number of reasons, such as, encouraging natural feeding behaviours, increasing their behavioural repertoire and stimulating them both mentally and physically.”

“Varying the ways in which we deliver the food makes them work harder, just as they would in the wild. Enrichment is vital for every animal, so we try to make it as exciting and inventive as possible.”

The feast was packed full of fresh vegetables, particularly green veggies which are a firm favourite with the Guinea pigs and rabbits at Drusillas.

Deputy Head Keeper, Gemma Romanis, said: “Our rabbits and guinea pigs really enjoyed their tea party! It’s always a gamble with enrichment as to how well it will be received, sometimes you work really hard to create something nice and the animals turn their noses up at you and aren’t having any of it. But this was a huge success.”

“Everyone came to sit at the table, there was no hesitation from any of them. They were curiously watching us set the table and prepare their food, and as soon as it was done, they were straight in there. They even stayed in their ‘seats’ at the table, which was hilarious! Most of them had great table manners and we were genuinely impressed at their dinner party prowess.”

Nearly everyone had perfect table manners, with the exception of little Hunka-Munka the guinea pig…who saw fit to stuff his face with more than his fair share of greens and then proceeded to climb onto the table to hoover up anything else that might have been left.

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