ON what is traditionally the busiest weekend of the year, the Cotswold Wildlife Park was eerily quiet over the Easter holiday.

The visitor attraction, near Burford, may have temporarily closed its gates to the public for the coronavirus lockdown, but its keepers are still hard at work. And they insisted the resident population did not miss out on their traditional Easter treats.

In what has become a custom at the zoo, animals were fed Easter eggs containing their favourite food. In a show of support for the NHS, eggs were decorated with messages thanking medical staff.

Oxford Mail:

While the public were not on hand to see the fun at the park, many caught up with the action on social media and 24-hour webcams.

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Mammal keeper Jenni treated tapirs, capybaras and giant anteaters to papier-mâché decorated Easter eggs containing treats.

Oxford Mail:

Brazilian tapirs Gomez and Lolita used their distinctive prehensile snouts to reach the delights inside. The park’s breeding pair of capybaras, Belle and Ollie, crunched their eggs while anteater Zeta used her agile tongue to reach the mealworms within.

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Squirrel monkeys, agoutis, tamanduas and yellow mongoose couple Chip and Dip were also treated, while the meerkats made light work of their hard boiled eggs.

Head of primates and small mammals Chris Kibbey said: “As it was Easter it seemed an ideal time to offer our meerkat group one of their favourite enrichment foods – eggs! They would naturally eat eggs in the wild, but by hard boiling them, it provided a stimulating challenge for them to break into.

Alpha male Marley was particularly excited and wanted to steal all of the eggs for himself.”

Catch up with the fun at cotswoldwildlifepark.co.uk