Santa Delivers Gifts to the Animals Before Heading Back to the North Pole

Posted December 20, 2021

December 23 is the last night to visit with Santa at the Cincinnati Zoo

CINCINNATI (December 20, 2021) – Before heading back to the North Pole later this week, Santa brought gifts to some of the animals at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden.  Hippos, red pandas, and meerkats got treats and holiday-themed enrichment, and the naked mole rats got tiny clothes!

Videos: Santa Delivers Clothes to Naked Mole Rats | Gifts for hippos, red pandas, meerkats | Photos

“It was so thoughtful of Santa to bring clothes to the naked mole rats, but they don’t actually need any help to keep warm,” said Cincinnati Zoo’s World of the Insect team leader Mandy Pritchard. “Their habitat is kept nice and toasty since they come from the deserts of east Africa.  If they do get a little chilly, they prefer to cuddle together in big piles!”

PNC Festival of Lights visitors have four more nights to let Santa know what’s on their lists.  If you don’t tell him what you want, you might end up with miniature clothes that you can’t wear!

The Zoo will be closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  It will reopen on December 26 at 10 a.m.  PNC Festival of Lights, winner of  Best Zoo Lights in USA TODAY’s Readers’ Choice poll four years in a row, runs through January 9. For more information visit