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Animals Enjoy Easter Egg-richment

PUBLISHED 07/04/23

Zookeepers at Drusillas Zoo Park in East Sussex have been treating their animals to some Easter themed egg-richment activities to celebrate the holidays – in the shape of giant Easter eggs!

The Park’s red pandas, squirrel monkeys, armadillos, meerkats, and even tiny baby dwarf mongooses were offered large papier mâché Easter eggs, except instead of chocolate they found tasty bugs, seeds, and veggies inside.

The activity, although lots of fun to watch, also encourages the animals to investigate, explore and interact with new and 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 we would get bored doing the same thing day in and day out, animals need new and exciting things in their day to keep them stimulated, much like your pets at home. In addition, introducing new and unusual things helps encourage them to use natural and instinctive behaviours such as recognising scents, foraging, and problem solving. If we just handed them food in the same way every day, they would lose their natural abilities.”

Gemma continued; “It’s always great fun during the holidays to theme our enrichment and we’ve not introduced eggs in this way before, so it’s fascinating to see how the different species react to the same thing. For example, our red pandas were a little hesitant and did lots of tentative sniffing and checking before they interacted, the meerkats just wanted to all bundle inside, and our naughty armadillos and monkeys dived straight in 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, are also gearing up to welcome Bluey and Bingo on 12th and 13th April for Easter holiday meet and greet character events. The events require pre-booked online tickets with some spaces still available.

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