Bear cubs, Mish and Lucy, play Christmas games at wildlife park

Emma-Louise Pritchard
·2-min read
Photo credit: Wildwood Trust
Photo credit: Wildwood Trust

From Country Living

This week, animal residents at the Wildwood Trust in Kent have been getting into the Christmas spirit.

The keepers put on a set of festive enrichment activities for the animals ahead of the park's doors reopening to the public.

Bear cubs, Mish and Lucy, had their first ever encounter with a Christmas tree which they enjoyed snacking on and playing with.

Photo credit: Wildwood Trust
Photo credit: Wildwood Trust
Photo credit: Wildwood Trust
Photo credit: Wildwood Trust
Photo credit: Wildwood Trust
Photo credit: Wildwood Trust

Father Christmas also left ‘presents’ filled with tasty treats for the arctic foxes and lynx to unwrap, and an advent calendar for the polecats to investigate.

“Christmas themed enrichment activities are the perfect way to encourage our animals to use the natural skills they would in the wild like foraging, digging, scratching and sniffing out a scent," says Sally Holt, Senior Keeper at Wildwood Trust.

Photo credit: Wildwood Trust
Photo credit: Wildwood Trust

“Unwrapping ‘presents’ is a sensory experience that requires the use of both mouth, paws and brain. Stimulating and encouraging natural behaviours in new, fun ways is important to us and our residents enjoyed getting into the festive spirit.”

Wildwood Trust opened in 1999 as a centre of excellence for the conservation of British wildlife, and was established as a registered charity in 2002.

Photo credit: Wildwood Trust
Photo credit: Wildwood Trust
Photo credit: Wildwood Trust
Photo credit: Wildwood Trust

Home to over 200 native animals and set in 40 acres of woodland, visitors can see bears, wolves, bison, deer, owls, foxes, red squirrels, wild boar, lynx, wild horses, badgers and beavers.

The Wildwood Trust is dedicated to saving Britain's most threatened wildlife and have taken part in many conservation programmes, including saving the water vole, using wild horses to help restore Kent's most precious nature reserves, bringing the extinct European beaver back to Britain and returning the hazel dormouse and red squirrel to areas where they have been made extinct.

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