Watch the animals at the Houston Zoo celebrating the holiday season

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Thursday, December 31, 2020
Animals at the Houston Zoo enjoy Christmas season
If you can't celebrate the season in person at the zoo this year, press play to see how the animals have kept busy with all the Christmas cheer.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- 'Twas the season of Christmas, when all through the zoo, every creature was stirring, maybe even a sloth too.

The animals at the Houston Zoo have been celebrating the holiday season, and if you haven't been able to go see them eating meatball ornaments off their Christmas trees, you're in luck.

In the video above, different animals can be seen enjoying the Christmas cheer. A tiger jumps to grab treats off of a Christmas tree that hangs like a piñata in her den, while African painted dogs run around, trying to grab a broken piece of their tree from each other. Even some of the smallest species found a way to have fun: mongooses hunting for mealworms inside their mini trees.

According to zoo keepers, giving the animals these treats and encouraging them to play in this way fosters behaviors they would normally exhibit in the wild - scavenging, hunting, jumping, running. These enrichment techniques are used not just in the holiday season, but year round, to stimulate the animals physically and mentally.

If you want to spend a part of your holiday with these animals, tickets are available on the Houston Zoo's website. You might catch even catch them playing with all their edible toys Santa brought.