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Santa Barbara Zoo open for Thanksgiving holiday

Posted at 6:31 AM, Nov 21, 2018

The Santa Barbara Zoo will be open on Thanksgiving Day.

The zoo, which is a popular family attraction, will be open from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for the holiday. Tickets are sold until 2 p.m.

There will be special Thanksgiving Keeper Talks at the animals’ exhibits. A schedule of events and activities will be posted at the entrance to the zoo.

The zoo also plans to provide pumpkins to the zoo’s Asian elephant Little Mac, as well as other zoo residents including African lions, turkey vultures, slender-tailed meerkats, barnyard animals, and others.

Santa Barbara Zoo Elephant
Little Mac enjoys a pumpkin. (Photo Courtesy: Santa Barbara Zoo)


Some animals will be given sweet potatoes, cranberries, and other seasonal treats.

The zoo says these natural objects help stimulate and exercise the animals.

Santa Barbara Zoo Otters
Otters play with a pumpkin at the zoo. (Photo Courtesy: Santa Barbara Zoo)


The pumpkins, which include some larger varieties, were donated by local growers or used at the recent Boo at the Zoo event.

The zoo is also introducing two female reindeer, named Cookie and Peppermint. The two will be on view at the zoo in a specially decorated holiday exhibit from Thanksgiving until New Year’s Day.

Santa Barbara Zoo Reindeer
Two reindeer will be at the zoo through the holiday season. (Photo Courtesy: Santa Barbara Zoo)


On weekends beginning November 23, kids will be able to take photos and meet with Santa at the zoo’s exhibit area.