February 5, 2009

Elephants finish leftover Christmas trees

The director of Germany's Opel Zoo said the facility's three African elephants have finished eating 300 Christmas trees donated after the holiday.

Zoo director Thomas Kauffels said the 300 unused trees were donated by traders who would have otherwise thrown out the leftover stock, Der Spiegel reported Thursday.

Elephants like to eat wood, it's important for their digestion because it gives them roughage, especially in winter when there aren't many leaves on the trees, Kauffels said.

We fed them one or two trees each per day, said Kauffels. If we gave them 10 at a time they'd get picky and would only eat the tips.

Kauffels said the elephants are only fed unused trees to prevent possible incidents resulting from overlooked decorations.