On Sunday, December 15th, tune into The Travel Channel at 7pm for “Xtreme Xmas”, featuring Christmas with the Chimps. During this annual event at Lion Country Safari, Santa delivers presents to all the chimpanzees while park visitors watch. Marketing & Public Relations Director, Jennifer Berthiaume looks forward to the event, presented by ChimpanZoo, every year stating, “this segment is a great prelude for those at home, who have not yet been able to experience this WILD holiday celebration. It’s definitely unique and we’re thrilled to be featured on The Travel Channel.”
For close to 30 years now, Santa Claus has taken a hiatus from the North Pole to deliver presents to a very special group of chimps. This holiday celebration is open to the public, on Thursday, December 19, 2013 beginning at 10:30am, and is the only opportunity where guests are allowed out of their vehicles to observe the chimps while in the Safari Preserve.
Once Santa’s boat/sleigh is loaded with wrapped presents including edible treats, stuffed animals, clothes and enrichment-themed activities, he will make his delivery to the chimps ages 8 and older. Little Mama, who according to Dr. Jane Goodall, is the oldest living chimp estimated to now be in her mid-70’s, is always a crowd favorite to watch. “The chimpanzees are as excited as you or I about receiving their Christmas presents. The fact that they are such intelligent primates makes it necessary for us to always go that extra mile to provide them with stimulating environmental enrichments. This is a benefit for the staff and chimps,” says Wildlife Director Terry Wolf.
The presents are provided and wrapped by ChimpanZoo volunteers at Lion Country Safari. ChimpanZoo is a program developed by renowned chimpanzee expert Jane Goodall for the research, enrichment and education of captive chimpanzees.
All visitors looking to be a part of the event are welcome. There is no pre-registration and attendance to the event is included with paid admission. Guests should arrive by 9:30am to allow travel time to the chimp islands, located in the final section of the drive-through preserve.
Lion Country Safari is the only drive-through safari in South Florida. Guests can see over 900 animals on 320 acres. The park is home to the largest herd of rhinos and zebras in the country. For more information, please call the main office at (561) 793-1084 or visit us online at www.lioncountrysafari.com. Don’t forget to tune in to the Travel Channel’s “Xtreme Xmas” on Sunday, December 15th at 7pm to see what it’s all about. This holiday season, try something WILD and celebrate Christmas with the Chimps.