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Werribee Open Range Zoo

Big cats and meerkats enjoy Easter at Werribee Zoo

20 April 2019

Hop to it! Easter is in full swing at Werribee Open Range Zoo.

Volunteers have been hard at work crafting a selection of animal-friendly enrichment activities as part of a weekend-long Easter celebration, with festivities kicking off today.

Werribee Zoo’s mob of Meerkats stuck their fuzzy faces through colorful cardboard cut-outs, momentarily turning into the Easter Bunny, as they explored the enrichment, and chocolate eggs were swapped for puzzle-feeder balls filled with the Meerkats’ favorite food – mealworms.

Over at the Lion enclosure, the pride pounced on a basket filled with enormous egg-shaped papier-mâché balls smeared with some of their favourite scents, including rhino dung.

Videos and photographs show the pride carefully investigating the enrichment before tearing into cardboard eggs and exploring a basket filled with wood wool.

Lion Keeper Katherine Quinn said these enrichment activities were an important way for Werribee Zoo’s animals to interact socially, while also stimulating their senses.

“Easter allows us to create interactive and interesting enrichment activities for our animals,” Ms Quinn said. “It lets them explore new objects and interact socially as they would in the wild.”

Tomorrow (Easter Sunday), visitors to Werribee Open Range Zoo can see Western Lowland Gorillas Motaba, Genyeka and Yakini, and its Vervet Monkey troop, receive their Easter enrichment.

Werribee Open Range, Healesville Zoo and Melbourne Zoo are open every day of the year, including throughout Easter and Anzac Day.