Party at the Park: Six Monarto animals celebrate birthdays

It's party time at Monarto Safari Park, as six of its residents celebrate their birthdays this week.

Chimpanzee Enzi turns five, while giraffes Kinky and Tambo and male lions Kashka, Kubwa and Kito all turn another year older.

The whole chimpanzee troop enjoyed celebrating Enzi's birthday, sharing snacks, enrichment and decorations at the platform.

Enzi is a playful boy who loves somersaults and swinging around the chimpanzee space.

The chimpanzee keeping team gave the troop some special treats of streamers, brightly-coloured presents, and a heap of fresh fruit and vegetables on Monday.

Five-year-old Enzi took the first pick of the presents, enjoying some presents filled with nuts and seeds from his sunny spot on the platform.

While the male African lions Kashka, Kubwa, and Kito mark their birthday on Tuesday, it was the females Nia, Makena, and Husani and the four cubs who made the most of the celebration, getting to the presents first.

The lions' gifts were coloured balls and shapes filled with turkey mince, but the boys just did not seem interested, preferring smaller treats hand-fed to them by the keepers while everyone else tucked in to their presents.

Later this week giraffes Kinky and Tambo will turn 21 and 20 respectively.

Kinky is known for the large kink in her neck, which happened when her mother sat on her while giving birth, but it has not stopped her from being a mother of many healthy calves herself.

The enrichment and treats these animals received are not just saved for birthdays, they actually make up an important part of their health and care.

Adding new scents, objects or sounds or changing ways of delivering their food keep the animals on their toes, encouraging them to think differently and encourage behaviours natural for their species.

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