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Unwanted Christmas trees prove useful at Edinburgh Zoo

Car Hire Edinburgh Airport find the idea of animals loving Christmas trees a little bit hard to believe.

Most of the unwanted Christmas trees in the Edinburgh area would usually end up at the rubbish tip, compost heap or log fire wood, but at Edinburgh Zoo they are providing hours of fun for animals, thanks to a surprise donation from a landscaping firm.

Nic Houldsworth Landscape and Fencing has delivered a belated seasonal gift of more than 30 unsold spruce trees so the animals can use them as toys.

The trees are like ‘catnip for lions’, which like nothing better than biting on the trunks, ripping apart the branches and chewing on the bark.

Jo Elliot, animal collections manager at the zoo, said “Lots of species will be making the most of the trees over the next few days, from the lions that will likely enjoy wrestling and scent marking them, to smaller monkey species that will shelter and play with them. Other animals that particularly enjoy the Christmas trees are big cats, meerkats, sun bears and chimpanzees to name just a few. We happily accept small numbers of leftover pine trees, mainly from sellers, however they must be both unused and unsprayed.”

Business development director Arnie Sathiy decided to approach the zoo after reading about how much lions at Linton Zoological Gardens in Cambridgeshire loved Christmas trees.

Owner Mr Houldsworth said “What else were we going to do with them apart from mashing them up? So we said ‘Let’s give them to the animals and they can play with them’.”