Heart of England What's On

Easter Treats for Safari Park Animals!

Staff at West Midland Safari Park have been treating the animals in their care to some exciting Easter-themed treats, as part of the Park’s Easter event.

During Easter Eggstravaganza eagle-eyed visitors may be able to spot some extra special egg-shaped enrichment in parts of the Safari, Discovery Trail and African Village.

Enrichment is widely used around the Park to encourage natural behaviours such as foraging, playing and hunting. Some inhabitants regularly receive different foods as enrichment, all a part of their diets.

Whereas the meerkats get eggs as an occasional treat, others have them more regularly. The troop of douroucouli (owl monkeys) in the Twilight Cave and the beaded lizards in the Reptile House, receive eggs weekly.

Steve Slater, Discovery Trail Deputy Head Keeper, said, “In the wild, the beaded lizard is a specialised vertebrate nest predator, feeding primarily on bird or reptile eggs. Eggs have high quality protein, iron, vitamins and minerals. We give our lizards an egg each, once a week and we hide them around their enclosure which is very good enrichment for them. So you could say they have an Easter egg hunt all to themselves!”

Lucy Smith, also a keeper in the Discovery Trail said, “To keep things egg-citing for the douroucouli we provide them with a varied diet. Eggs are a really good form of protein for the monkeys, which they also really enjoy. We can use eggs in different ways in their food as a form of enrichment, as they like to work out how to get into the hard shells! They love them, almost as much as the keepers love chocolate eggs!”

The larger animals have not been left out of the Easter fun either, as the Park’s pride of lions received giant papier-mâché eggs, filled with meat. This is part of an enrichment programme which includes zip lines, boomer balls and meat being towed around their enclosure.

The Easter Eggstravaganza event runs until 23 April and includes a whole host of exciting activities, such as an Eggsplorer’s Trail to help the Easter Bunny find the giant missing eggs. There is also a variety of competitions to take part in, an Eggsplorer’s Craft Club and themed shows and encounters.

Local schools and youth groups have also taken part in the Easter fun, as they have taken part in an Easter egg decorating competition. All the entries are currently on display.

Easter Eggstravaganza activities are included in the group admission charge of £10.50 for adults, £9.50 for children aged 3-15 and £10.00 for concessions, based on ten or more paying passengers arriving by coach or mini bus. Children under the age of three are free of charge. Theme Park rides charged extra in all cases.

Further information and tickets are available from the Park’s website www.wmsp.co.uk or by telephone 01299 402114. You can find out more on the Safari Park’s official Facebook page: www.facebook.com/ WestMidSafari.