Animals at Rosamond Gifford Zoo to receive holiday presents, treats on Sunday

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — ‘Tis the season for giving, and the animals at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo won’t be left out! 

On Sunday, animals will receive gift-wrapped boxes that have their favorite treats. This is part of the zoo’s animal enrichment program, and the animals will open, enjoy and even eat their gifts.

“Enrichment means finding ways to keep the animals stimulated, curious and active, as well as encouraging their natural behaviors,” said Zoo Director Ted Fox. “Most of the animals’ gifts will involve them in investigating a new scent, foraging for food or just playing with a cardboard box, like your pet cat may do at home.”

For Holidays with the Animals, zoo volunteers collected dozens of cardboard boxes in all sizes, and zoo volunteers wrapped the boxes with wrapping paper that doesn’t contain foil and the volunteers used non-toxic glue instead of tape.

Zookeepers then select boxes for their animals, cut holes in them and filled them with treats: Bamboo and craisins for red pandas, fruits and nuts for primates, scents and meat for big cats.

Below is a schedule of when the gifts will be handed out, which is subject to change:

  • 10:30 a.m. Siamangs, lemurs, golden lion tamarins — Social Animals wing
  • 10:45 a.m. Amur leopards – Social Animals wing
  • 11:15 a.m. Contact barn, outdoor birds – Domestic Animal yard
  • 11:30 a.m. American bison, gray wolves — Wildlife Trail
  • 11:45 a.m. Takin and markhor — Wildlife Trail
  • 12:15 p.m. Asian elephant – in elephant barn, look through windows
  • 12:45 p.m. Snow leopard — Wildlife Trail
  • 1 p.m. Red panda, Andean bear — Wildlife Trail
  • 1:30p.m. Tamanduas (anteaters) – Nocturnal Animals wing
  • 1:45 p.m. River otters – Adaptations
  • 2 p.m. Sloths – Nocturnal Animals
  • 2:15 p.m. Giant Pacific octopus – Upper lobby
  • 2:30 pm River turtles — Cave
  • 3 p.m. Diversity of Birds

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