It is the very first Christmas for ZSL Whipsnade Zoo’s three Amur tiger cubs, and keepers made it extra-special by giving them their very own Christmas stockings.
Keepers at the Zoo prepared brightly coloured, felt stockings for six-month-old Amur tiger cubs, Dmitri, Makari and Czar, each scented with catnip and perfume to encourage the cubs to use their powerful sense of smell to investigate the new items.
There were also festively-wrapped boxes for the Zoo’s Northern rockhopper penguins, which, when opened, revealed their favourite fishy snacks, while the squirrel monkeys, known for their curiosity, were gifted a ‘washing line’ of miniature red stockings, each filled with their favourite veggie treats like carrot and lettuce.
Meanwhile, sloth bear Columbo discovered that keepers had decked out his enclosure with brightly coloured, hessian, ‘Santa sacks’ filled with his favourite peanuts and mealworms.
Team leader Donovan Glyn said: “At this magical time of year, it’s wonderful to be able to share some of the fun of the season with the incredible animals we know so well.
“Our Amur tiger cubs had never seen a Christmas stocking before, and they love exploring and investigating new things, especially with their powerful noses! Columbo the sloth bear also enjoys using his sense of smell to search for food, so finding his way to sacks full of delicious treasure like peanuts and mealworms was a real festive treat.”
For a magical day out this Christmas, look no further than ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. Open every day except for Christmas Day itself, those looking for a way to walk off the turkey and Christmas pudding on Boxing Day can visit the tiger cubs, penguins, sloth bear, squirrel monkeys and many more animals at the UK’s largest Zoo.