Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Chimps treated to Easter surprise

A chimpanzee with an Easter egg at Blair Drummond Safari Park in Stirling
A chimpanzee with an Easter egg at Blair Drummond Safari Park
Staff at Blair Drummond Safari Park painted giant ostrich eggs and filled them with goodies such as yoghurt, honey, peanut butter and mealworms

Chimpanzees at a safari park have been treated to an Easter surprise with tailor-made eggs filled with their favourite foods.

The chimps tucked in to giant ostrich eggs stuffed with peanut butter, strawberry yoghurt, honey and mealworms, which were hidden around their enclosure at Blair Drummond Safari Park, near Stirling.

Staff painted the shells in bright, colourful designs and the animals were sent on a traditional Easter egg hunt. Hot cross buns were also on the breakfast menu on Chimp Island to help warm up a cold morning.

The park, which recently opened for the summer season, currently houses five chimp residents: Chippie, 24, who is known as The Boss, his mother Blossom, 55, Rosie, 25, Copper, 23, and 19-year-old Tupelo.

Head keeper Alasdair Gillies said: "Chimpanzees, our closest living relatives, are extremely intelligent animals. We provide many forms of enrichment for them every day to stimulate them and prevent them from getting bored and fed up.

"Staff came up with the Easter theme for a bit of fun, but it does have a serious side and the chimps certainly seemed to enjoy it. No chocolate eggs for these guys, though, they have a much healthier alternative tailor-made to suit the preferences of an ape."

He added: "While the ladies were interested in the contents of the eggs, Chippie, after an initial investigation, found it very amusing to throw one of his eggs back at the keepers showering them in strawberry yoghurt. It's all part of the fun."

Blair Drummond is inviting members of the public to hunt for their own golden Easter eggs at the park on Sunday and Monday.

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