Leaves
Leaves

Typical, you spend all that time decorating the place ready for Christmas and the family runs riot and wrecks all your hard work in minutes!

Paignton Zoo keeper Kate Jenner decorated the outdoor enclosure of the Zoo’s Hamadryas baboons as a Christmas treat. But she had a pretty good idea how they would react.

Kate glued around 1,000 paper links using harmless flour and water paste and hung them around Baboon Rock, lending a festive air to the troop’s home. Did they appreciate it? Well, in their own way, yes…

“There was no food for them to find, but they didn’t mind - they just loved ripping up the paper and making a mess. It was just like a traditional family Christmas!”

So what was all this monkey business in aid of? Staff at the charity zoo use their understanding of animal behaviour to create environmental enrichments that stimulate animals mentally and physically – although they work just as well on visitors.

It took Kate and her mum – who volunteers at the Zoo - around ten hours to make all the chains in their spare time. Kate has been at Paignton Zoo for six years and has always worked with the baboons: “I love working with Hamadryas baboons, they are my passion. We have 49 baboons on Baboon Rock. They are all individuals and have their own personalities, which makes them fascinating to work with. They are so good with their enrichment, they use anything you give them from something simple like a toilet roll tube to a puzzle feeder.”

Now, all Kate has to do is clean it all up…

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