FESTIVE firs from Santa’s grotto are proving to be ‘tree-mendous’ fun for the animals at Dudley Zoo.

None of the 44 Christmas trees used to decorate the 11th century castle courtyard throughout December have gone to waste as they’re now being used for enrichment.

The Carpathian lynx, meerkats, lions, tigers, chimps, gibbons, orangutans and macaques are enjoying the evergreens, as they play amongst the branches and enjoy the heady pine scent.

Curator Richard Brown, said: “We can hide food in the branches, but mostly the trees stimulate the animals simply on their own as they love exploring and playing and the bristly texture and unique smell is something different, as they don’t get them all year round.

“We’re also keen to make sure all the trees we purchase for the zoo site over the Christmas period are recycled, so using them as animal enrichment gives them a second lease of life.

“Any we don’t use with the animals are turned into woodchipping by our gardeners, which we use across the zoo site, so nothing is wasted.”