It Was a Critter Christmas at Santa Barbara Zoo

Even Santa Claus stopped by the animal park, all to visit with the residents (he even paused to feed a tortoise a Christmassy carrot).

Santa Barbara Zoo

BOXES AND FOXES? You never know what fanciful scenes you'll spy during the sweetest season at an animal park. But since places like Santa Barbara Zoo remain temporarily closed, we need to spy social media, all to keep tender track of what the resident animals are doing in the absence of visitors. And near Christmas? The cute critters of the American Riviera destination can often be found opening colorful boxes, bags, and all sorts of skill-building, enrichment-type gifts. That's just what happened as the 2020 yuletide cast its merry magic, meaning that the zoo's beasties, from tortoises to foxes to macaws, got a little something sweet in their proverbial stocking. And by "sweet," of course, we mean a specific treat or toy geared to their diet or development.

Santa Barbara Zoo

SANTA CLAUS... even stopped by just ahead of the holiday, using his special Santa powers, to say "hello" to the furry, feathery, and shell-rocking favorites. He fed a crunchy carrot to a peckish tortoise and spent time communing with the giraffes. You can see more of Kris Kringle's critter-fun adventures on the Santa Barbara Zoo Facebook page, and check out a few of the animals opening their presents. It's a tradition that continued, even during the animal park's closure, as keepers and staff members remained committed to giving the animals consistent, positive experiences and plenty of joy-filled moments.

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