Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

National and World

January 4, 2013

Berlin elephants feast on tasty Christmas trees

BERLIN (AP) — Elephants at the Berlin Zoo finally got a chance to tuck into their Christmas dinner: A feast of donated pine trees.

The zoo treated its elephants and some of its other animals to the trees for lunch Friday. Before gobbling the greenery, elephants young and old played with the trees, whose strong smell attracts them.

Elephant keeper Ragnar Kuehne said the unsold Christmas trees were donated by local vendors.

He said "the animals love it. For them, the Christmas feast is starting now."

Kuehne says the zoo doesn't accept trees from the public, which could contain chemicals or leftover decorations. He also says Christmas trees inside houses aren't as fresh and juicy as those at cold outdoor markets — which is just how the elephants like them.

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