Just in time for the holidays, the Santa Barbara Zoo is welcoming some new Christmas residents: reindeer.
The zoo welcomed two male reindeer Nov. 22, an adult named Holiday and a first-year calf named Lightning, according to a news release.
This is the first time in the zoo’s 54-year history that it will exhibit reindeer.
“I heard a rumor that Donner and Blitzen are retiring, and these two are the up-and-comers for their flying jobs,” zoo CEO Rich Block joked in the release. “We’re their warm-weather ‘hoof camp’ due to our great climate. They have big harnesses to fill, and we’re here to support them with great nutrition, a highly trained keeper staff, a full-time vet and ocean views from their temporary paddock across from the lions. Our male lion Chadwick has agreed to an 8 p.m. roaring curfew so the reindeer can get their beauty sleep.”
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The two reindeer are on loan from Windswept Ranch, in the foothills above Antelope Valley near Tehachapi.
The exhibit runs through Jan. 1.