- Title: ARGENTINA: Zoo animals celebrate Easter with special eggs in Buenos Aires
- Date: 10th April 2012
- Summary: CHILDREN WATCHING
- Embargoed: 25th April 2012 13:00
- Location: Argentina, Argentina
- Country: Argentina
- Topics: Environment,Quirky,Light / Amusing / Unusual / Quirky
- Reuters ID: LVA7HKH626WU0S1DKDBNRPC73XM8
- Story Text: Easter came early to the animals of the Buenos Aires zoo on this Good Friday (April 6) as they received customised Easter eggs.
This white tiger was at first confused by the decorative egg's sudden appearance. After tentatively pawing it in front of an amused crowd of onlookers, he began licking the cardboard shell, before realising the inside had been filled with his favourite food: raw meat.
After that, it didn't last long.
Giovanna Donini, a biologist at the zoo, said it seemed appropriate that Easter traditions should be extended to their animals.
"We here at the zoo are celebrating Easter. As all children and grown-ups will be receiving chocolate eggs on Sunday, we wanted to reflect that and reward our animals with the same activity. In this case, we are using eggs that are not chocolate but made from cardboard and inside we have put the animals' favourite foods," said Donini.
Jaguars were also caught playfully indulging in their presents, as children gathered to watch.
But Donini said there was more to the offering than met the eye. The decision to offer interactive treats was part of an ongoing programme to keep the animals occupied and happy.
"What we are trying to do is enrich the animals' surroundings. Today, it is Easter eggs, but it is something that we work at every day, as a team throughout the zoo, to improve the animals' well-being from a physical and psychological point of view. With the environmental enrichment, what we are trying to do is generate natural behaviour in the animals, because when they are in captivity they often can't express themselves to the full," said Donini.
Vegetarians didn't miss out either. Their eggs were filled with their own special goodies.
Although the lemurs also showed signs of confusion, and some needed coaxing down from their hiding places, they soon got into the festivities.
Chimps, spectacle bears and a variety of other animals received similar surprises.
Buenos Aires zoo often likes to involve its animals in special occasions. They also receive Christmas presents every year.
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