Give a gift this holiday season to the animals at the Milwaukee County Zoo

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Every week Kathy Kuffel and her grandson Nate visit the Milwaukee County Zoo, but when they walked in during their latest trip they noticed a new addition.

"We were very excited because the trees weren't here last week and I said look it's the only one with ornaments and then I went, 'Oh that's right, it's the Giving Tree,'" said Kuffel.

This is the sixth year for the Milwaukee County Zoo's "Giving Tree." The tree is filled with nearly 200 paper ornaments with gift ideas for animals throughout the zoo.

"The wishes on the giving tree are things the zookeepers have personally picked out for the animals. So when you give something you know that it's going to be something really special for that animal," said Milwaukee County Zoo Apes / Primates Area Supervisor Trish Khan.

Most of the gift ideas are enrichment items, which stimulate the animals thought process and natural behaviors.

"It will be things they can smell and scents and perfumes or perhaps things that they can eat or forage for or puzzle feeders things we can put food in or freeze or give them in a very novel way," said Khan.

After purchasing the gift you can drop it off at the zoo and it's given to the animals.

"Sometimes you might even see the animal on display using your specific enrichment item," said Milwaukee County Zoo Public Relations Coordinator Jenny Diliberti.

A way to give back, and for Kuffel it's an opportunity to teach her grandson a valuable lesson.

"I love being able to share not only the nature part of it, but that it's good to give back. I mean, it really truly is," said Kuffel.

The Giving Tree will be up at the U.S. Bank Gathering Place at the Milwaukee County Zoo through December 31st. For more information, CLICK HERE.