Even animals are excited about soccer at Johannesburg Zoo

Animals at the Johannesburg Zoo have shown a lot of enthusiasm for playing ball this year. Since February the following animals: lion, chimpanzee, elephant, coati, spider monkey, hamadrayas baboon, pot bellied pig, spectacled bear, bacterian camel, caracal, lar gibbon, de brazza monkey, meerkat and black & white lemur played with all sorts of balls ranging form soccer balls, boomer balls , papier maché , dechadron balls, melons and plastic soccer balls. Most sessions, especially those of lions, chimpanzee, elephants, coatis, spider monkey, hamadrayas baboons, pot bellied pigs, spectacled bears, black & white Lemurs and meerkats were very entertaining, with animals tossing and tackling the ball. Onlookers could not get enough of the sessions, cheering, laughing and just having good fun, whilst the animals outdid themselves and got their exercise for the day in the process. Some animals such as the bacterian camel, caracals, Lar Gibbons and de brazza monkey’s just did not know what to do with the ball.

Zoo animals will continue to play until the end of the soccer tournament. Every Friday until 9 July at 11h00 the following animals will play: polar bears 18 June, elephants 25 June, Spider Monkeys 2 July and chimpanzee on 9 July. Everyone zoo is welcome to enjoy the sight. Polar bears will have giant boomer and feeder balls and barrels thrown in their pool, elephants will get giant boomer and zebra coloured papier maché balls. Spider monkeys will get drilled boomer and papier maché balls and chimpanzees will use plastic soccer and papier maché balls. The animals should get very excited about their toys and visitors can cheer for a lot of soccer action. You are more than welcome to attend any of the sessions. Should you be interested, please contact Nonkie on 011 646 2000 x 260.

Animals in the wild spend time at play, just like Johannesburg Zoo animals.They are seen digging, climbing and scratching or searching for food, also playing with objects. Each animal has a particular way of playing, for instance, primates often jump on each others’ backs, groom each other and juveniles’ play-fight. Chimpanzees will throw objects that, which they are curious about, carnivores wrestle and chase one another, pawing, stalking or rushing to another animal. Playing enhances animals’ social behaviou and strength and is a form of exercise, which they need for a number of reasons including fending for themselves.

Johannesburg Zoo strives to be Gauteng’s environmental and wildlife destination of choice.
Prepared and issued by Letta Madlala: Brand & Communications Manager.

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