Watch Whipsnade Zoo's Asian elephant on an Easter egg hunt
- Credit: ZSL Whipsnade Zoo
It's the Easter holidays! With good weather on our side and longer days thanks to daylight saving, most would usually flock to local attractions, like Whipsnade Zoo.
Even though they can't currently welcome visitors, the keepers at Whipsnade have created an an egg-stra special Easter activity for their youngest elephant today (Wednesday, March 31), to kick off the bank holiday weekend.
Four-year-old Elizabeth, the youngest of the zoo’s herd of endangered Asian elephants, was treated to an Easter egg hunt with a twist.
Her keepers hid huge, colourful eggs around her enclosure to stimulate her natural curiosity and scavenging skills.
The eggs - which are actually her favourite treat, watermelon, decorated with edible paint - were hung at different heights and hidden in the sand for Elizabeth to find. You can see her glee when she then smashes them open and discovers that it's really her favourite food!
Team leader Stefan Groeneveld said: “We wanted to create an activity for Elizabeth that would engage her natural instincts to explore and investigate, as well as give her a fun treat for Easter week.
"Melons are her equivalent of a chocolate treat and decorating them meant that she got an extra surprise when she cracked them open and discovered what was inside!
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“We can’t wait until Elizabeth and our elephant herd can be reunited with our visitors on – we hope – 12 April, as it will be amazing for both the animals and the humans to have that very magical experience again that comes from face-to-face interaction.”
For ZSL - Zoological Society of London, the international conservation charity behind the Whipsnade - financial losses from forced closures has resulted in an estimated loss of income worth £26 million by their proposed reopening date.
Stefan added: “We’re looking to the future now and are so excited about the prospect of a wonderful summer, filled with unforgettable animal experiences for our visitors and members.
"We couldn’t have got through the past 12 months without their support and we can’t wait to have them back, exploring our huge zoo and seeing Elizabeth and the herd in person.”