The Twelve Days of Christmas is taking on a rather wild twist as the Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens celebrates 12 days of wild holiday fun from December 13-24.
Just imagine, instead of two turtledoves, a flock of squawking blue and gold macaws, or the ornery honey badger standing in for the partridge in the pear tree. For the dozen days, animal residents at the zoo will be receiving special gifts—some of their favorite snacks and toys—wrapped to the nines for the holidays. Not only does this offer the wild residents a fun little activity during treat time, it is also a blast for visitors to watch tigers, fosas and lions tear through the wrapping in pursuit of their prize.
But these activities are not just in good holiday spirit, they provide positive enrichment for the animals. By breaking the monotony of simply feeding the animals at a given time in the same old routine, the gift-wrapped treats and strategically placed goodies encourage the animals to actively forage and play—who says playing with your food is a bad thing? It is part of the zoo’s broader and all-encompassing enrichment program, which includes exhibit design, animal “roommates,” sensory enrichment and behavioral conditioning. Everything is designed and focused with the goal of “increasing the animal’s behavioral choices and drawing out their species-appropriate behaviors, thus enhancing animal welfare,” as dictated by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums accreditation requirements. This all makes for happier, better adjusted animals in captivity, and enhancing zoo residents’ quality of life.
- Admission costs $19.95 for adults, $12.95 for children.
- For more information, visit napleszoo.org.