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While most Christmas decorations and lights have been taken down and put away by now, there are still plenty of evergreen trees to be found around the Buttonwood Park Zoo!

For the past 8 years, after the hustle and bustle of the holiday season has died down. Conwell Enterprises of Provincetown has quietly donated a truck full of post-Christmas treats for Zoo residents.

Thanks to the donation by Conwell and the Potting Bench in New Bedford, who also made a large donation this year, Christmas trees are being reused and repurposed – while also serving up a healthy dose of fun!

Many of the animals at the BPZoo will have the chance to play, hide, destroy, toss, or even pounce on these trees, giving the trees a new purpose and keeping them out of landfills. Zoo staff will find different ways that each species would benefit most from this unique type of enrichment being added to their environments.

The BPZoo uses enrichment, a dynamic process that enhances an animal’s environment, to encourage and stimulate natural behaviors. Social, cognitive, physical, and sensory enrichment techniques are introduced on a varied schedule in a variety of ways to increase the animal’s behavioral choices, elicit species-specific behaviors, and enhance animal welfare.

While the Zoo isn’t currently in need of more Christmas tree donations, there is an animal enrichment “wish list” available at bpzoo.org/ get-involved/donate/wish-list/.

The Zoo is located at 425 Hawthorn Street in New Bedford and is open from 9:00 am until 4:00 pm daily throughout the winter. Daily keeper chats are held throughout to day – a great place to learn more about animal enrichment activities.