Animals celebrate Olympic Games, Rio style!

Olympics interest at Woburn. Photos: Bridget Davey Photography / Two-D Photography / Woburn Safari Park
Olympics interest at Woburn. Photos: Bridget Davey Photography / Two-D Photography / Woburn Safari Park

In the run up to this evening’s Opening Ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Woburn Safari Park’s rare lemurs and exotic animals are celebrating in true Rio de Janeiro style.

Determined not to miss out on the celebrations, Woburn’s lemurs were caught on camera brandishing carnival masks in a nod to this year’s vibrant host city.

Olympics interest at Woburn. Photos: Bridget Davey Photography / Two-D Photography / Woburn Safari Park

Olympics interest at Woburn. Photos: Bridget Davey Photography / Two-D Photography / Woburn Safari Park

The masks were coated in delicious fruit and placed inside the Land of Lemurs enclosure by the park’s keepers.

Hayley Potter, Head of Section – Animal Encounters at Woburn Safari Park said: “We are big fans of the Olympic Games at Woburn and with the Opening Ceremony coming up, we thought we’d give the lemurs a few celebratory props to play with – and they loved them! This type of activity gives the lemurs some great supervised enrichment with the keepers. Some of the squirrel monkeys, sea lions and cockatoos even had some fun with flags too!”

Lemurs originate from wild forest habitats in Madagascar, where the critically-endangered black-and-white ruffed species face threats to their survival. This is typically due to habitat loss as a result of slash-and-burn agriculture, logging and mining, as well as hunting and attacks from their natural predators – fossas (cat-like mammals).

Elsewhere in the Foot Safari at the park, the squirrel monkeys were joining in the celebrations with some frozen treats and carnival masks. Meanwhile, the park’s Californian sealions, squirrel monkeys and critically-endangered yellow-crested cockatoos were showing their support for their origin countries with national flags.

Olympics interest at Woburn. Photos: Bridget Davey Photography / Two-D Photography / Woburn Safari Park

Olympics interest at Woburn. Photos: Bridget Davey Photography / Two-D Photography / Woburn Safari Park

Olympics interest at Woburn. Photos: Bridget Davey Photography / Two-D Photography / Woburn Safari Park

Olympics interest at Woburn. Photos: Bridget Davey Photography / Two-D Photography / Woburn Safari Park