'Tis the Season (For elephants, orangutans and tigers, too)

Zoo animals to receive goodies at annual holiday enrichment event

ALBUQUERQUE, NM - Humans aren't the only ones in town getting gifts this December - residents at the ABQ BioPark Zoo will be celebrating the holidays with their own presents this weekend.

The ABQ BioPark Zoo is throwing its annual holiday enrichment event from 9:30-11:30 a.m. on Saturday, December 19.

"Our holiday enrichment event is a great way for visitors to celebrate the holiday season along with our animals and to see first-hand how our zookeepers help encourage the animals' natural behaviors," said Tammy Schmidt, ABQ BioPark curator of mammals.

During the event, many of the zoo's animals will receive special holiday treats. Zoo staff will give holiday enrichment to the primates, cats and elephants. Typical enrichment items include paper chains, decorated tubes, edible goodies and boxes wrapped in holiday style.

This kind of special enrichment keeps zoo residents active, alert and curious.

The zoo invites the community to watch the animals open and interact with their presents, toys and goodies. Zookeepers will also be available during parts of the morning to answer questions and explain the importance of enrichment for the animals.