Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Santa at the Zoo, Part 1

Prescott Valley, AZ, has a little zoo that consists of various, mostly-local animals that cannot survive on their own in the wild.  It's called the Heritage Park Zoo, and it's very similar to the Maine Wildlife Park in Gray.


Every year, Santa visits the Heritage Park Zoo to deliver gifts to the animals!  I went this year, because who can resist that?

Earlier in the day, kids were invited to come and decorate the gift boxes the animals were receiving.  Then, instead of a sleigh, Santa bopped around the zoo in a decorated golf cart to hand out the gifts.

When I first arrived, Santa was delivering a delicious box of fruit to Quilber, the porcupine.  Poor Quilber was in the middle of a nap and didn't really feel like getting up, but he was coaxed up to at least make a showing.  Santa helped by opening the box for him.  (I had a hard time getting a good shot because of the crowd.  Sorry.)

Next, it was on to Shash the black bear.  Shash is very old: 23 years!  He's been at HPZ since he was three months old, when his mother was shot by a hunter.  The amazing thing is that Shash has had cancer for over 3 years, but you can barely tell.

Santa's helpers delivered Shash's gifts, as Santa is not qualified to handle a black bear.  But Shash loved his treats.  One box had meat, and the other two had fruits and veggies.  Shash's medicine gets hidden in his food.  One of the HPZ employees was thrilled to see him eat an avocado, since his medicine was injected into it.

Shash, like Quilber, was less than thrilled about waking up.  Until he smelled his gifts, that is.

Here are a couple of  little movies:

Okay!  More tomorrow.  Stay tuned.

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