The holidays are a time for high emotion, for sweet sights, for awww-worthy moments, and for deep sentiments of all sorts. If you're feeling all of that this year, or if you'd like to crank up the coo-able connections to heart-touching experiences, take a glance at Santa Barbara Zoo. The acclaimed animal park closed for several days, then reopened, then closed again due to the proximity of the Thomas Fire. But now the zoo has reopened with no expected near-future closures, and there's a special treat for fans looking for furry goodness: The debut of those talked-about Asian small clawed otter pups as well as one of the rare giant anteater twins born in November.
All four critters had been off public view since their respective births, with the wee otter pups keeping close to mom in a cozy den and the giant anteater baby hanging out on mom's back, as baby giant anteaters do. But on Dec. 22 the zoo revealed they're all out and ready to be admired by zoo visitors. One note: The other giant anteater twin, the smaller of the pair, was evacuated to the Fresno Zoo due to the fire.
And one more hello to enjoy? A 3-year-old Masai giraffe recently arrived at the zoo to take part in the Cooperative Breeding Program. Enjoy the animal-based adoreableness by stopping by to see the cute critters in person, all while lending some love to the Santa Barbara Zoo following its week-plus of off-and-on closures. In the area over the holidays? The zoo will observe "special" hours on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.