Prickly toys: more than 1000 Christmas trees were presented to the zoo inhabitants


More than 1000 unsold Christmas trees have become toys and useful delicacy for Moscow Zoo inhabitants.

Since December 31 the zoo began to accept coniferous trees from urban Christmas tree markets: all of them are used to enrich animal habitats or as additional decoration in enclosures, and some animals — for example, elephants, polar bears and markhors — use fir branches, bark and needles for food.

"This year we have received a record number of trees from the capital's entrepreneurs – more than 1000 pieces. And the number of people wishing to give Christmas trees as a gift to Moscow zoo inhabitants is growing day by day. It is gratifying that unsold Christmas trees can be useful, and are not just sent to landfill. For many of our animals coniferous trees is the best Christmas gift that can be imagined. This is a new interesting object for research, a toy, a scratching post and useful delicacy», - Moscow zoo CEO Svetlana Akulova said.

Christmas trees appeared in the enclosures of Asiatic lions, Dagestan tours, horned goats, blue sheep, lynxes, wolverines and many other zoo inhabitants. Needles are rich in valuable biological components, vitamin C, carotene, as well as useful amino acids. That is why some animals use Christmas trees and pines not only as toys, but also as a useful "dessert". Asian elephants, polar bears, capybaras, musk oxen, Sichuan takins and other ungulates feast on needles. But Asian lions, Amur tigers, snow leopards and other large wild cats prefer to sharpen claws and fangs on tree trunks. The inhabitants of «Turya Gorka» and «House of primates» also test the trees for strength with their horns and teeth.

The zoo accepts trees only from companies. The zoo does not take Christmas trees from individuals because the trees used as a New Year's decoration can be potentially dangerous for animals: fragments of tinsel, garlands and other decorations are often left on trees’ branches. In addition, trees that have stood indoors for a long time lose their aroma and become unattractive for animals.

Before giving Christmas trees and pines to animals, the zoo staff carefully examines each tree and only then install it in the aviary.

The reception of unsold Christmas trees has become a good tradition of Moscow Zoo since 2012. This practice exists in many European and American zoological organizations as well.

To find out how to give Christmas trees to the zoo inhabitants, you need to call: 8 (499) 255-13-99, 8 (499) 255-00-92.

Reception of trees will last until January 20.