Christmas comes early for Paignton zoo
TWO large Christmas trees donated to Paignton Zoo will be given to a troop of monkeys in the New Year.The zoo was presented with the pair of 15-foot Norway spruce by Marldon Christmas Tree Farm.Robyn Lynes, from the farm, said: "We sell fresh, locally-grown trees to the public, but are also aware of our responsibilities to the wider community. We are donating the trees to the Zoo because it is really good for a local business to help a local charity."Paignton Zoo Fundraising Manager Jenny Paton said: "It is a wonderful gesture. And after the trees have brightened up the Zoo during the festive season, we can recycle them for the animals."The trees will be placed in the entrance hall and the restaurant at Paignton Zoo.In January they will be given to the Zoo's troop of hamadryas baboons. Zoo spokesperson Phil Knowling said: "We will then take old Christmas trees for the animals to play with, so long as they are safe and free from any metal or plastic. Different animals enjoy the smell, texture and the sheer novelty of a strange tree appearing in their enclosure."The Norway spruce (Picea abies) is an evergreen tree native to Europe.Historically it is the traditional choice for a Christmas tree, with the classic pine fragrance. If kept well watered once cut it will often maintain its needles for many weeks.Meanwhile, Santa's Traditional Christmas runs at Paignton Zoo between December 8 and 24 and will feature a puppet show, a grotto, a ride on the miniature train and more.