Blair Drummond bears get Easter treats

TWO European brown bears have enjoyed an Easter egg hunt at their home at Blair Drummond Safari Park.

The European brown bears at Blair Drummond Safari Park were given early Easter treats. Picture: PA

Keepers hid seven giant ostrich eggs filled with treats around the enclosure of two-year-old Loki and his 10-year-old mother Nellie.

They hung some of the eggs filled with raisins and honey from trees to look like honey bee hives.

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The ostrich eggs are the size of around 25 chicken eggs and have such a hard shell that keepers had to use a drill to break through to fill the unfertile eggs with treats.

Head keeper Vicky Kydd said: “We filled the eggs with raisins, blueberries, nuts and other tasty morsels and hid them all around their enclosure.

“The bears had a great time hunting for the eggs, but did look a bit puzzled by the size of the egg when they eventually found them, Loki rolled his egg around a little until the titbits fell out and Nellie took a wee while to break the eggs to get to her tasty treats inside.

“They absolutely loved the honey egg hives and made a bee line straight for them.”

Park bosses said that as well as providing a tasty treat, the Easter egg hunt offered a good enrichment opportunity for the bears.

Park manager Gary Gilmour said: “Even though it is a bit of Easter fun, this is a great enrichment which benefits the bears as it simulates what they would do in the wild.

“They would naturally come across eggs in the wild and would easily break them open to get to the yolk, but I think they found the ostrich eggs a bit harder to crack.

“It is ideal for the bears as it encourages natural behaviour and stimulates the animal’s senses, as in the wild they would use their keen sense of smell to scavenge for food and can smell an animal carcass from as far away as 20 miles.”