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Article updated: 1/4/2013 7:54 PM

Berlin elephants feast on tasty Christmas trees

An elephant plays around with a Christmas tree Friday at the Berlin Zoo before eating it.

An elephant plays around with a Christmas tree Friday at the Berlin Zoo before eating it.

 

Associated Press

An elephant holds a christmas tree at the Berlin Zoo at the launch of the annual feeding of christmas trees in Berlin, Friday.

An elephant holds a christmas tree at the Berlin Zoo at the launch of the annual feeding of christmas trees in Berlin, Friday.

 

Associated Press

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By Associated Press

BERLIN -- Elephants at the Berlin Zoo finally got a chance to tuck into their Christmas dinner: A feast of donated pine trees.

The zoo treated its elephants and some of its other animals to the trees for lunch Friday. Before gobbling the greenery, elephants young and old played with the trees, whose strong smell attracts them.

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Elephant keeper Ragnar Kuehne said the unsold Christmas trees were donated by local vendors.

He said "the animals love it. For them, the Christmas feast is starting now."

Kuehne says the zoo doesn't accept trees from the public, which could contain chemicals or leftover decorations. He also says Christmas trees inside houses aren't as fresh and juicy as those at cold outdoor markets -- which is just how the elephants like them.

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