San Diego, California - Six meerkats tussled over wreaths placed in their exhibit this morning at the San Diego Zoo. The wreaths were part of the regular animal enrichment activities planned by the animal care staff during the Zoo’s annual event Jungle Bells, presented by California Coast Credit Union.
The four wreaths were made from gravura plants grown at the Zoo and were accented with red hibiscus flowers. One wreath also featured a bow created from parts of a palm tree. To encourage the meerkats’ natural behavior of foraging and digging, each wreath was "trimmed" with mealworms, a staple of the meerkats’ diet at the Zoo.
There are wreaths, lights and other holiday décor throughout the San Diego Zoo during Jungle Bells. This holiday event offers guest the chance to tour the Zoo until 8 each night of Jungle Bells, experience exotic animals after dark and enjoy seasonal entertainment.
Just for Jungle Bells, animals "sing" during Carols at Camp Critters at Wegeforth Bowl. The Zoo’s zany Dr. Zoolittle performs his own fun, wildlife-filled take on the classic Clement Clarke Moore poem, "The Night before Christmas," at the Koalafornia Boardwalk.
Santa’s elves return to their stage inside Urban Jungle for a "Toy Shop Hop" on their large trampoline. Guests can visit with Santa and have photos taken with the jolly old elf inside a large igloo located in Discovery Outpost and journey around the Zoo on the festive Twinkle Light Trolley to see the many animal-shaped light sculptures throughout the Zoo.
Jungle Bells is not just about holiday sights and sounds but also delicious holiday smells and tastes from seasonal treats like hot chocolate and cookies offered at many of the Zoo’s restaurants and food stands. Happy Holidays Happens, a merry happy hour at Albert’s Restaurant, offers discounted drinks and appetizers from 3 to 5 p.m. each day of Jungle Bells (except Dec. 24).
Zoo guests can take an extraordinary adventure to the North Pole on The Polar Express with the SimEx-Iwerks 4-D version of the holiday classic, now playing in the Rio 4-D theatre inside Discovery Outpost." Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas" is showing at the 4-D theater by Skyfari West.
The Jungle Bells holiday celebration runs now through Dec. 23, Dec. 25-31, 2014, and Jan. 1-4, 2015, and is free with paid admission or membership to the San Diego Zoo. Visit sandiegozoo.org/junglebells for a schedule of other activities and more information about Jungle Bells.
Bringing species back from the brink of extinction is the goal of San Diego Zoo Global. As a leader in conservation, the work of San Diego Zoo Global includes onsite wildlife conservation efforts (representing both plants and animals) at the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, as well as international field programs on six continents. The important conservation and science work of these entities is made possible by the San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy and is supported in part by the Foundation of San Diego Zoo Global.