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All I want for Christmas is Zoo

Colobus monkeys at ZSL London Zoo tucked into Santa’s ‘milk and minced pies’ after keepers treated them to the surprise snack ahead of Christmas.

ZSL Keeper Agnes Kiss said: “The troop demolished the iced oat milk and specially baked monkey ‘mince pies’ in less time than it takes Santa to slide down a chimney.

“We’re now busying ourselves preparing fun Christmas presents for our animals to open on the 25th – we like to make it a festive day for the animals, by placing their breakfast or lunch in a brightly wrapped box, or a tube wrapped to look like a cracker: they enjoy using their natural skills to ‘open’ their presents, just like kids do on Christmas morning!”

Christmas Day is the only day of the year that the Zoo closes, but keepers will still have a full schedule of cleaning, feeding and preparing activities for the animals – before reopening to the public on Boxing Day.

Top of the colobus troop’s Christmas wish list is a new home – which will come true next year when ground breaks on the redevelopment of the Zoo’s Grade II listed Snowdon Aviary, set to open in 2021.

The iconic space will be transformed into a plush new pad for the growing troop, which has celebrated the birth of 18 new babies over the past 13 years, whom visitors will be able to walk among in their new walkthrough home.

With more than 18,000 animals to see and indoor exhibits including the Reptile House, Butterfly Paradise and Rainforest Life to keep the winter chills away, head to ZSL London Zoo this Boxing Day for the perfect place to walk off Christmas lunch. Find out more and book tickets at