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.”
The two reindeer are on loan from Windswept Ranch, in the foothills above Antelope Valley near Tehachapi.
The exhibit runs through Jan. 1.