LEFTOVER Christmas trees from Delamere Forest have proved a roaring success with the big cats at Chester Zoo.
The Forestry Commission donated about 50 surplus trees to the zoo, which are now being enjoyed by three Asiatic lions Kumari, Kiburi and Iblis.
The trees are thrown into the enclosure every few weeks and have provided hours of fun and entertainment for the trio.
Carnivore keeper Shane Blake said: “The trees are used as enrichment for many of our species including our Sumatran lions, Visayan warty pigs and various species of monkey.
“It’s something different for the animals, a nice bit of greenery for them in winter and the lions in particular certainly love to scratch their backs on them and roll around a have a good play.”
The trees were donated to the zoo from the leftover surplus at Delamere Forest following the annual Christmas tree sale in December.
Duncan MacNaughton, forest ranger, said: “We are really pleased that the lions have had so much enjoyment from the trees, which would have otherwise gone to waste.
“It is a partnership that has worked really well and we hope to be able to provide the zoo with plenty of off cuts throughout 2013.”