Animal Advent-ures order of the day for London Zoo's animals this holiday season

ZSL London Zoo/Cover Images

Lions, meerkats, and squirrel monkeys kicked off the countdown to Christmas on Wednesday morning - opening three very different advent calendars at London Zoo.

Asiatic lions Arya and Bhanu get paws-on as they followed a festive scent trail of cinnamon and nutmeg to a giant handmade calendar, while the Bolivian black-capped squirrel monkey troop tested their agility as they foraged amongst hanging advent pouches for their favourite treats.

Elsewhere, the meerkats - Meko, Penelope, Dracula, and Frank - woke up to their unique calendar - searching behind 25 doors to find their cricket snacks.

ZSL Zoological operations manager Dan Simmonds said: “It’s the season of giving and our keepers enjoyed sharing the Christmas spirit with the animals at London Zoo.

“Marking the first day of advent, our lions loved sniffing out meaty treats in their 5ft advent calendar, while the meerkats and squirrel monkeys foraged for their breakfast behind colourful doors and in hanging numbered bags," he continued. "There may not be a chocolate in sight, but like children across the country, the animals couldn’t resist opening just one door!"