This weekend the Prospect Park Zoo is hosting the annual Presents to the Animals festivities. It will be a weekend full of holiday spirit when the Hamadryas baboons and the Pallas’s cats receive wrapped gifts with some of their favorite treats inside.
Presents to the Animals is a way the zoo can provide mental and physical stimulation to keep the animals’ minds and bodies healthy and active.
Azizi and Jabari, the zoo’s youngest baboons, will celebrate the holidays for the second time, but they are no strangers to presents. This past summer they celebrated their first birthday with a cupcake extravaganza. Now, as they approach two years, they have become very adept at opening boxes full of treats and now do not have to wait for help from their mothers.
This season’s event, which starts at 11 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday, should be especially exciting. Bole, the youngsters’ father, leads the troop in the treat fest, but like most parents, he likes to find a quiet spot to peacefully savor his gifts, monkey biscuits, seeds and fruit.
Later in the afternoon, around 3:30, there are two more first-timers that will be getting presents this year. The new Pallas’s cats will experience the excitement of the season and figure out how to open a gift box.
These holiday events will take place twice a day at 11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., each weekend in December. Check the zoo’s website at www.prospectparkzoo.org for a full schedule of holiday fun.
When you come to the zoo, don’t forget to bring a new, unwrapped toy or 10 packaged food items for the Wildlife Conservation Society’s third annual toy and food drive in conjunction with the Brooklyn Borough President’s office and City Harvest. In appreciation, you get a present from us: a general admission ticket to the Bronx Zoo. Check the website for details: www.wcs.org/foodtoydrive.