DE
21.12.17

Christmas greetings from Hellabrunn

This Christmas at Hellabrunn Zoo, the wood bison and the polar bears Giovanna and Quintana were given a delicious festive surprise. The keepers prepared a beautifully decorated Christmas tree adorned with tasty treats for each – which the animals were naturally allowed to knock over.

Copyright: Tierpark Hellabrunn / Marc Müller

Copyright: Tierpark Hellabrunn / Marc Müller

Copyright: Tierpark Hellabrunn / Marc Müller

Copyright: Tierpark Hellabrunn / Marc Müller

The curious polar bears paused for a moment. What’s that in our enclosure? Quintana didn’t wait for her mother to answer, but instead moved towards the beautifully decorated Christmas tree for a closer look. To her delight, she discovered a variety of tasty treats dangling from the tree: peppers, oranges, apples and even a few pretzels! It was only at second glance that the little polar bear noticed the red gift next to the Christmas tree, which was also lovingly packed and decorated by the keepers. When mum Giovanna walked over to the Christmas tree a short while later it was toppled over within a few minutes, which made it much easier for the bears to reach the sweet decorations on the upper branches. But mum then became so busy with the tree, she missed the moment Quintana unpacked her Christmas present: a red traffic cone, one of her favourite toys.

The wood bison also received a wonderful Christmas surprise in their frosty enclosure. Shortly before Christmas Day, they woke up one morning to the sight of a Nordmann fir tree decorated with colourful fruit and vegetables standing in the midst of their hoar frost landscape. While most of the herd chose to first tuck into the fresh hay served at the edge of their enclosure, one cow and her calf of only a few months old plucked up the courage to head directly to the big Christmas tree where they enjoyed sticking their heads deep into the branches. The tree eventually caught the attention of the other members of the herd, after which it did not take long for the Christmas tree in the bison enclosure to also fall.

After the Christmas holidays, there will be plenty of replenishment - like almost every year - when one or two unsold Christmas trees are placed in the enclosures as food or animal enrichment.

Hellabrunn Zoo opening hours for Christmas 2017 are as follows:

24 December (Christmas Eve):      9 am – 4 pm
25 December (Christmas Day):       9 am – 5 pm
26 December (Boxing Day):      9 am – 5 pm