Valentine's Day comes early for animals at Detroit Zoo - WNEM TV 5

Valentine's Day comes early for animals at Detroit Zoo

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Valentine's Day came early to the Detroit Zoo, whose inhabitants enjoyed some romantic goodies.

Zookeepers at the facility in suburban Royal Oak gave heart-shaped piñatas to wolves and ice treats to polar bears and camels on Wednesday.

Penguins received special rocks that were painted by guests. When a male penguin finds a mate, he embarks on a search for a suitable stone to give his partner as a gift, hence the painted rocks.

If the female accepts the "pebble proposal," the rock becomes one of many used to build their nest.

It was all part of the Detroit Zoo's Heart Fest event. Members of the public were invited to watch as the animals were given their special treats.

Elizabeth Arbaugh, the zoo's curator of mammals, says it's a zookeeper's job to make sure animals' habitats are enriched, and this is one way to do that.

According to Arbaugh, "it's fun for" the animals "to tear at and tear apart and play with or swim with" their special treats.

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