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Berlin zoo's elephants enjoy light festive snack: a late delivery of Christmas trees

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BERLIN — Zoo elephants in Berlin have enjoyed a light festive snack: a late delivery of Christmas trees.

PHOTO: A zookeeper feeds an elephant with Christmas trees at the zoo Tierpark in Berlin, Germany, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016. Every year discarded Christmas trees are offered to the animals as a snack. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
A zookeeper feeds an elephant with Christmas trees at the zoo Tierpark in Berlin, Germany, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016. Every year discarded Christmas trees are offered to the animals as a snack. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

The New Year feeding of unsold pine trees has become an annual event. Zookeeper Mario Hammerschmidt says the trees are certified as pesticide-free.

Hammerschmidt said Thursday that the trees are "a good supplement to the food the elephants get during winter time."

The elephants also used the greenery to scratch themselves after keepers put them in the enclosure. But with snow on the ground and temperatures below freezing at the Tierpark, one of two zoos in the German capital, the feast didn't last long.

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PHOTO: A zookeeper feeds an elephant with Christmas trees at the zoo Tierpark in Berlin, Germany, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016. Every year discarded Christmas trees are offered to the animals as a snack. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
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