Father Christmas has taken up residence of his winter cottage at Drusillas Park in Alfriston, bringing two of his trusty reindeers with him.
Tinsel and Twinkle delivered the Big Man safely to Drusillas last weekend and will now remain at the zoo until Friday 23 December, meeting visitors and before getting Father Christmas home, ready for a busy night on Christmas Eve.
At six-years-old, Twinkle and Tinsel are two of Santa’s newer recruits. Their diet is a mixture of hay, barley straw and reindeer pellets which offers a good mixture of the vitamins and minerals they need. However, under strict instructions from the Big Man himself, the keepers will also be adding magic reindeer dust to each and every meal.
Like cows, reindeers have four stomach chambers and so require plenty of dust to fill them up. Keepers add this onto their meals, as well as providing carrot snacks to help them see in the dark.
Zoo Manager, Sue Woodgate commented, “It is great to have reindeer at the Park at this time of year. Christmas is a magical time for children and having reindeer here and explaining more about the species to them is very rewarding.”