The forecast at the Santa Barbara Zoo calls for a 100% chance of snow, sledding, and frosty fun at its annual Snow Leopard Festival, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 29 (9 a.m. early admission for Santa Barbara Zoo members only).
Kids can enjoy sledding in 80 tons of snow, while the zoo’s animals, including Kisa, the snow leopard, get to play in their own snow as enrichment.
Regular admission or zoo membership is required for entry, and there is an additional fee ($10/pass, $8/pass for zoo members) for sledding and snow play.
The snow play area is open to children ages 12 and under (and parents/guardians), and sledding is for children ages 4-12 only (no adult sledding). Sleds are provided; no personal sleds allowed.
This year’s sponsors are Bella Vista Designs, Inc., Delta Welding and Fabrication, Giffin & Crane General Contractors, LLC, Michael Hogan, MD and Rosalind Warner, MD, Hutton Parker Foundation, the Krainer Family, and the Muller Family.
For more about the Snow Leopard Festival, call 805-962-5339 or visit www.sbzoo.org.
Snow leopards have a variety of adaptations that enable them to live in the extreme conditions of the high mountains in Central and South Asia, including large paws that act as snowshoes, thick fur that insulates the body in a variety of temperatures, and enlarged nasal cavities to facilitate breathing in cold climates.
Despite their name, snow leopards are also adapted to thrive during the extreme heat of the summer months, including the grey-white color of their fur, which blends into the environment even when the snow is gone.
Fore more about the Santa Barbara Zoo, including hours and admission costs, visit www.sbzoo.org.