Keepers assist local pub with fallen tree

After high winds brought down a huge eucalyptus tree into the garden of the Old Sun at Ampthill on Saturday, keepers from Woburn Safari Park were called.

Estimated to weigh around five tonnes, the tree had stood in the pub garden for around 40 years but after a narrow escape saw it come crashing down into the garden, it became a welcome treat for animals at the Park.

Tortoise With Eucalyptus Tree Branch

The tree cuttings were enjoyed by a number of species including tortoises and snakes in the Foot Safari, although the goats and wallabies were most impressed with their snack.

Senior Keeper, Louise Moody, said: “It’s very rare that we are able to collect browse from outside of the park to feed to the animals, as we can’t take machinery offsite to cut it and also need to ensure no pesticides have been used, however in this case the storm had brought down a huge tree and the Old Sun had cut it to a manageable size.

“Although we have a lot of different varieties of trees we feed to the animals on site, we don’t actually have too many Eucalyptus trees, so this was a real treat!

Snake With Eucalyptus Branch

“The wallabies and goats particularly enjoyed eating it, but some more unusual animals benefitted from it too. The snakes actually really enjoy the scent of it - olfactory enrichment is really important for snakes, it encourages them to use their amazing senses to explore their surroundings.”

As each species is fed a different and carefully maintained diet it’s rare that keepers are able to accept or collect trees from off-site so this made for a nice one-off treat that benefited both the animals and the local team at the Old Sun.