The lions and gorillas at ZSL London Zoo woke up to a festive surprise this week, as keepers shared some early Christmas treats with the animals.
Asiatic lions Bhanu and Arya discovered brightly wrapped boxes scented with seasonal spices in their Land of the Lions home, while the Zoo’s troop of Western lowland gorillas found gifts of their favourite festive veg under the trees in Gorilla Kingdom.
ZSL London Zoo’s head zookeeper Dan Simmonds said: “Gorillas Alika, Gernot, Mjukuu and Effie are always keen to clean their plates of all the festive veg at Christmas – they loved digging into their presents to find juicy carrots and tasty Brussels sprouts.
“And while lioness Arya carefully picked up her gifts and carried them off to play with later, Bhanu opened his all at once, rolling around in the boxes to release his favourite seasonal scents - nutmeg and cinnamon.”
Dan added: “With plenty of very merry fun for all ages, ZSL London Zoo is the perfect place for families to enjoy a day outside during the Christmas school holidays – visitors can help Mrs Claus gather the animals’ wishlists, wave to Santa as he visits the penguins and enjoy a festive outdoor stroll through the animal kingdom.”
Open every day apart from Christmas Day, families can even walk off Christmas lunch amongst the animals on Boxing Day. Set in 36 acres of outdoor space, ZSL London Zoo is a nature haven at the heart of the capital - find out more about how the keepers care for the animals at Christmas.