Elephants in Berlin eat extra Christmas trees


Elephants at the Berlin Zoo share a Christmas tree snack. Vendors donate unsold trees to the zoo for the elephants to play with and eat. (Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)
January 7, 2013

Elephants at the Berlin Zoo in Germany finally got a chance to eat their Christmas dinner last week: A feast of donated pine trees.

The zoo treated its elephants and some of its other animals to the trees for lunch on Friday. Before gobbling up the greenery, elephants young and old played with the trees. Zookeepers say the trees’ strong smell attracts the elephants.

Elephant keeper Ragnar Kuehne said the unsold Christmas trees were donated to the zoo by local vendors.

“The animals love it,” he said. “For them, the Christmas feast is starting now.”

Kuehne says the zoo doesn’t accept trees from the public because those trees could contain chemicals or leftover decorations that could be harmful to the animals. He also says Christmas trees inside houses aren’t as fresh and juicy as those at cold outdoor markets — which is just how the elephants like them.


: Elephants munch on Christmas trees in their enclosure at the Berlin Zoo. Traditionally, the animals get leftover Christmas trees in the first week of the year. (Andreas Rentz/GETTY IMAGES)
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