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Baby Elephant Gets Extra Special Early Christmas Treat

This festive season is extra special for little Jai Dee.

The elephant calf has started celebrating his second Christmas at Sydney's Taronga Zoo with a special surprise.

Keepers at the zoo placed a pile of fresh snow, shaped like a snowman, in the enclosure on Thursday morning. The snowman was decorated with fresh apples, carrots and bananas -- all the things elephants like best.

The surprised was a snowman. Image: Taronga Zoo.

The snowy structure didn't last long however, with the animals crashing into it to collect the tempting fruity rewards.

But the snowman isn't without its benefits for the elephants. The placement of the snowman is what is known as an enrichment item, and is supposed to challenge the animals mentally and physically. This is meant to keep their minds sharp and active as they reside in the zoo.

But the snowman didn't last long. Image: Taronga Zoo.

“We regularly provide enrichment items to our animals, as it encourages natural behaviours such as foraging or problem solving. It is only fitting that at this time of year the enrichment have a Christmas theme,” zoo keeper Johnny Wade said.

READ MORE: Melbourne Zoo Elephants Rock Out For World Elephant Day

READ MORE: Man Plays Piano To Sooth Ailing, Blind Elephants At Sanctuary In Thailand

Encouraging the animals to respond in a way mentally and physically different contributes to maintaining their 'wildness', according to the zoo.

Featured Image: Taronga Zoo.

Contact Siobhan at skenna@networkten.com.au