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Holiday Magic returns to Charles Paddock Zoo on Dec. 20 

Zoo Holiday Magic AtascaderoCharles Paddock Zoo gives Christmas to its animals every year at Holiday Magic. The event always takes place the Saturday before Christmas. This year, it will take place on Saturday, Dec. 20, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Holiday-Magic_4820“Holiday Magic is an event that is supposed to embrace the spirit of giving,” Charles Paddock Zoo’s animal collections manager Kate Capela said. “The keepers come up with ideas and work together to  make and create gifts for the animals. Sometimes that is as simple as a box — so true with children sometimes. We are so lucky to have our presenting sponsor of H&R Block again this year and some additional sponsors that allow us to purchase items to be given to the animals. We try to make the best of those funds. By doing so, we purchase small gifts like holiday pinatas for the parrots, but we also purchase special heavy-duty indestructible toys for the carnivores. These items get to be used all year-long and shared among the animals like the tiger, fossa and fisher. This is especially helpful because we don’t often have the extra funds to buy those enrichment items, as they can be very costly.”

The animals will receive their gifts throughout the morning and afternoon.

“We schedule specific animals to receive gifts at various times, most often those are the animals that we know will interact or open their presents right away,” Capela said. ” Those scheduled animals are not the only ones to receive gifts though, we will make and deliver those throughout the day as well.  Sometimes Santa even helps to deliver presents, as he makes a short stop just for the event.”

Schedule of gift delivery:

  • 11 a.m.: Spider Monkeys
  • 11:30 a.m.: Meerkats
  • Noon: Ring Tailed Lemurs
  • 12:30p.m.: Fossa
  • 1 p.m.: Tiger

“This is a great event for the entire family to enjoy,” Capela said. “Everyone loves to watch someone enjoying a gift and who else should enjoy their gifts while you’re at the zoo besides the animals. We think it is fun to watch the kids watching the animals and hopefully it teaches all of us a little something about giving to others during the holiday season and all year-long. The keepers enjoy the event because they get to be creative with their ideas and truthfully it’s equally exciting to see how much the animals and the visitors enjoy the event.”

The zoo is opening daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. except Thanksgiving and Christmas days. For more information, go to or call 805-461-5080.

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