Christmas Trees, Animal Enrichment and Volunteering here at the zoo!

Posted on January 06, 2020


Thanks for all your donations of Christmas Trees – we didn’t even need to ask but your enquiries were well timed! We now have enough thankyou – so we will no longer be accepting any more trees.

Why do we give our cats (and other animals) Christmas Trees I hear you ask!

Well animal manager Marc Fox explains that “we use Christmas trees as scent enrichment … in the wild they will be coming across new smells in their territory all the time so we are recreating the wild in their enclosures. The keepers will sometimes hide food in the trees to add a challenge to their day….. you will likely see the big cats rubbing up against the tree as you do with your own domestic cats scent marking shrubs in the garden.”

Our animal carers work hard to give all the animals in the zoo an enriched life. This helps to prevent stereotypical behaviour and allows them to express their natural instincts as much as possible.

Our active ‘enrichment club’ who are part of our volunteer team here at the zoo meet once a week to help support our animal careers in inventing new and ever more creative ideas throughout the year. If you would like to volunteer here at the zoo, you will need to be able to commit a set amount of time either weekly or monthly and be over 18.

To find out more you can either stop by and see us at the Volunteer Fair this Saturday at the Riverside Centre in Newport (from 11:00 – 15:00) OR contact Anne at volunteers@isleofwightzoo.com