When Dec. 1 arrives, many people look forward to Christmas with the time-honored tradition of an advent calendar.
While small chocolates or other sweets seem to be the most typical form of treat used in this practice, a variety of themes are available now, including toys, tea, coffee, wine and … live crickets.
The last option would probably be as welcome as coal — unless you happen to be a meerkat, for whom the crunchy crickets are a terribly appetizing snack.
On Wednesday, the ZSL London Zoo shared a video on Facebook showing its meerkats enjoying a festive advent calendar designed specifically for them.
“Our meerkats are counting down to Christmas with their very own advent calendar,” the caption read. “But the mischievous mob ignored the festive tradition of opening a single door each day, choosing instead to tuck into all their treats at once!
“It’s safe to say that patience isn’t a meerkat’s best quality, but they had great fun foraging for their favourite tasty crickets.”
People commented to commiserate with the furry little critters’ sense of urgency.
“I have done the same as a child … But with chocolate in it,” one person wrote.
“Show the kids this…..or mibbe not cos it might give them ideas,” wrote another person, tagging a friend.
And perhaps you can relate — knowing something good is waiting behind doors Nos. 1 through 25 can make it difficult to wait for each day. It takes a great deal of personal strength not to blow through the lot in one sitting.
Of course, there are more than just advent calendars for the animals at the London Zoo this year. It’s certainly beginning to look a lot like Christmas as it shares updates on the holiday activities to which its residents are being treated.
“Employees from Bloomberg took a day out of the office to help keepers create festive treats, including papier-mâché Christmas baubles filled with sunflower seeds for our red river hogs,” the zoo posted on Nov. 30 along with photos of the pigs enjoying their species-appropriate treats.
Christmas is a great excuse to themed animal enrichment activities, and the posts many zoos share around this time of year highlighting such activities are nearly as much fun for the viewers as they are for the animals.
But it doesn’t stop there — domesticated animals have lots of fun with holiday-themed toys and treats as well. Do you give your pets anything in particular this time of year?
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.