LOVE was in the air for some cheeky monkeys at Drusillas as zoo keepers served up their meals in heart shaped hampers to get them in the mood for Valentine’s Day.
The colourful wicker wreaths were offered to the zoo’s Sulawesi black crested macaques crammed full of their favourite foods.
These were posted around the enclosure as a romantic meal with a difference, which the monkeys revelled at.
This unusual delivery was made as part of the zoo’s enrichment programme, which ensures a diverse diet is enjoyed in imaginative and unusual ways.
“Enrichment” is carried out within all the enclosures on a daily basis to encourage the animals to work a little harder for their food as they would in the wild.
Zoo manager, Sue Woodgate said, “The hearts made an ideal Valentine treat for the monkeys; they spent a great deal of time delving under the wicker and extracting the goodies and really enjoyed investigating the unusual findings.”
“The macaques have not been together all that long. We hope our romantic dinner will go some way towards introducing a little love onto the menu too.”
These large crested macaques are native to the Indonesian island of Sulawesi where they are critically endangered.
The group at Drusillas were introduced in 2010 as part of the European breeding programme and so far Cupid’s arrow has landed right on target.
Since arriving from Monkey Park in Israel last November, head boy Moteck has been making a huge impression on macaque sisters Kendari and Jude.
Moteck, which means “sweetie” in Hebrew, has been living up to his name with his two new honeys going completely bananas over him, happily sharing their Valentine hearts.
The gentle macaque has also bonded well with the two youngest members of the group, Pendola and Kamala born on April 26 and May 10 respectively.
The macaques were not the only animals to receive the novelty nibbles at the zoo.
Many other animals also received the heart shaped hampers, including the park’s racoons.