San Diego Zoo Offers Extended Hours During Annual Jungle Bells Event

meercat 1San Diego Zoo

Six meerkats tussled over wreaths placed in their exhibit last week at the San Diego Zoo.

The wreaths were part of the regular animal enrichment activities planned by the animal care staff during the zoo’s annual Jungle Bells event.

The four wreaths were made from gravura plants grown at the zoo and accented with red hibiscus flowers. One wreath also featured a bow created from parts of a palm tree. To encourage the meerkats’ natural behavior of foraging and digging, each wreath was "trimmed" with mealworms, a staple of the meerkats’ diet at the zoo.

There are wreaths, lights and other holiday décor throughout San Diego Zoo during Jungle Bells. This holiday event offers guest the chance to tour the zoo until 8 o'clock each night of Jungle Bells, experience exotic animals after dark and enjoy seasonal entertainment.

meercat 2San Diego Zoo

Just for Jungle Bells, animals "sing" during Carols at Camp Critters at Wegeforth Bowl. The zoo’s zany Dr Zoolittle performs his own fun, wildlife-filled take on the classic Clement Clarke Moore poem, The Night before Christmas, at the Koalafornia Boardwalk.

Santa’s elves return to their stage inside Urban Jungle for a "Toy Shop Hop" on their large trampoline. Guests can also visit with Santa and have photos taken with the jolly old elf inside a large igloo located in Discovery Outpost and journey around the zoo on the festive Twinkle Light Trolley to see the many animal-shaped light sculptures.

Zoo guests can take an extraordinary adventure to the North Pole on The Polar Express with the SimEx-Iwerks 4-D version of the holiday classic, now playing in the Rio 4-D theatre inside Discovery Outpost. Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas is also showing at the 4-D theatre by Skyfari West.

The Jungle Bells holiday celebration runs now through Dec. 23, Dec. 25-31, 2014, and Jan. 1-4, 2015, and is free with paid admission or membership to the San Diego Zoo. Visit for a schedule of other activities and more information about Jungle Bells.

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