KEEPERS at West Midland Safari Park have been thinking of some inventive ways to get the park's animals into the Christmas spirit.

The Bewdley park is currently hosting its annual Santa Safari event, which has seen the 'waddle' of 19 Humbolt penguins introduced to a large, shiny gold bauble, which the keepers have been using like a target stick - every time the penguins tap the ball with their beak, they get a fishy treat.

Meanwhile, the rainbow lorikeets have been treated to a Christmas tree made by their keeper Laura Hodgkins.

Laura said: "During the weeks before Santa Safari, we’re closed to the public, which is the perfect time for us to come up with enrichment ideas.

"Usually the guests can feed our lorikeets with a pot of nectar, but with the absence of this, the birds have a lot of time to do their own thing.

"Most of this involves preparing for the arrival of babies - from building their nests, to the act of mating and then incubating their eggs.

“It can be a very busy time of year for the birds, however they all seem to find the time to enjoy a bit of themed enrichment, especially the youngsters, who don't yet have to worry about pressures of courtship and breeding.”

Evesham Journal:

She added: "One of the birds’ favourite things - excluding food - is bamboo. They take pride in destroying it as much as they can, so what better way to get them into the festive spirit than a Christmas tree made entirely of bamboo.

"With the addition of their favourite toys, festive cardboard decorations and fruity baubles, finally topped off with a star made from lorikeet feathers - it’s a Christmas tree perfectly suited to a lorikeet.

"Unlike the average Christmas tree this one will only last a week or two, so I’ll soon be making another one to see them through to the New Year.”

Most of the animals at the attraction enjoy daily enrichment, which promotes natural behaviours that animals exhibit in the wild.

Both the lorikeet and penguins can be found in the park's walkthrough Discovery Trail, which has been transformed into a winter wonderland, with Christmas trees, snow, lights and festive decorations. It is also where guests can find Santa and his elves in the magical grotto.

Santa Safari is running daily until Christmas Eve and also on December 29 and 30. Booking in advance is advised.

Admission, including a return ticket, is £24 for adults, £20 for children aged 3 to 15, £8 for under-threes and £21 for concessions.