Family of endangered Asian elephants undecorate their Christmas tree

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A family of endangered Asian elephants have decided undecorating is more fun this year, as many households are kickstarting their Christmas tree planning.

The keepers at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo decorated pine trees, some up to 20ft tall, with elephant-friendly decorations made of fruit and wood to begin the Christmas festivities.

The woody wonderland, at the UK’s largest zoo, was full of apple and banana gifts hidden within the branches.

The family of elephants
The youngsters dived straight into the trees (ZSL Whipsnade Zoo/PA)

However the surprise did not last long, with the youngest members of the family, five-year-old Beth and 12-year-old Donna, quickly discovering the festive treats, closely followed by the rest of the herd.

The zoo’s Stefan Groeneveld said the elephant family have more fun pulling, shaking off and eating decorations than putting them up.

“They’re much better at it,” he added. “Although elephants’ skin is thick, they love the feel of prickly branches when they rub up against them.

“They also love to sniff out their favourite treats, hidden inside the branches, and retrieve them with their dexterous trunks, and when they’re done with all that, the trees themselves are also an excellent snack.”

According to the World Wildlife Fund, there are fewer than 50,000 Asian elephants left in the wild.

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