Animals make the nice list; no need to check it twice
Ahead of his trip around the world Thursday night, Santa Claus stopped in Santa Barbara to feed the animals at the zoo Tuesday afternoon.
He left his reindeer at the North Pole. He said they had to rest up before Christmas.
First on his trip were the Santa Barbara Zoo’s penguins, an animal he’s accustomed to up north.
The penguins tipped up their beaks and let out a call when they saw Santa and his fluffy white beard approaching. A few came out from their hiding places.
They must’ve been excited to see the big man. Or maybe it was the bucket of fish that caught their eyes.
Mr. Claus chuckled as he flung handfuls of fish into the penguins’ pond. A couple at a time swam up to eat.
As he left, he placed a gift by their habitat.
Demonstrating how he speeds around the globe, he boarded the zoo’s train to zip through the exhibits that represent the world’s continents.
He didn’t call the reindeer, as is his usual habit, but he yelled “All aboard!”
A golden bell at the front of the train jingled all the way as he drove to see the giraffes.
Craning their long necks to see Santa Claus, Michael, Audrey, Adia and Twiga looked skeptical. Who wears a fluffy red coat in Southern California?
Their keeper, Liz, grabbed biscuits and coaxed the giraffes over to the deck where Santa stood.
Mr. Claus looked a bit fearful. These weren’t the hoofed animals he was used to.
He held lettuce out as Adia wrapped her long tongue around the leaves.
He left the keeper with the food, as the giraffes were still skeptical of him.
Although he couldn’t win over all the animals with his rosy cheeks and hearty laugh, many animals seemed quite glad to have a visitor. (Because Santa Barbara is under a regional stay-at-home order, the zoo’s gates have been closed to visitors.)