Here's a gift idea for people wanting to splurge this holiday season and help wildlife conservation at the same time.
The Santa Barbara Zoo is offering VIP packages touted as "once-in-a-lifetime" experiences, according to Aimee Grove, a public relations representative with ifOnly.com.
There are six package in all and each offers a behind-the-scenes tour, from lion training to condor feeding.
For $475 dollars, accompany a zookeeper as they go on their feeding rounds and witness piranhas, penguins, and Inca terns up close.
The $500 dollar VIP package entails a private tour, with the help of the Zoo's animal ambassadors, to learn about the Zoo's California condor conservation efforts and an up-close encounter with the Channel Island fox, whose endangered status is a conservation success story.
For $625 dollars, take a private tour of the Newborn Unit in the Zoo's Veterinary Hospital and be one of the first to welcome a new addition to the Zoo. You'll receive a birth announcement and an invitation to schedule a private tour as soon as a baby is born.
The $745 VIP dollar package focuses on the wild wonders of the African savannah with a guided safari. From lion trainings to feeding giraffes, you'll have your choice of two adventures:
Giraffe Feeding & Meerkat Behind the Scenes; Lion Training Wall & Fennec Fox Behavioral Enrichment
Ruppell's Vulture Behavioral Enrichment; or Sulcata Tortoise Tour.
For those willing to pay more, an $800 dollar VIP package will have you teamed up with a zookeeper, who will guide your tour as you observe an animal painting session with your choice of animal artist - an elephant, a porcupine, an armadillo, or a penguin. At the end of the 30-min. session, you'll have a unique souvenir that you can take home.
The sixth and most expensive VIP package will set you back $845 dollars and involves a private tour for up to 6 at three VIP animal encounters from among the following, including:
- Elephant Feeding
- Lion Training Wall
- Snow Leopard Behind the Scenes
- Giraffe Feeding
- Reptile House Behind the Scenes
- Penguin Encounter
- Penguin Fish Toss Raptor Encounter,
- Meerkat (must be paired with Giraffe Feeding from List 1),
- California Condor Feeding,
- Asian Small-Clawed Otter Behind the Scenes,
- Anteater Feeding,
- Crested Porcupine Feeding,
- Tortoise Encounter
- Channel Island Fox Behavioral Enrichment
- Bird Behavioral Enrichment
A portion of these purchases -- 10% to 20% -- will go towards wildlife conservation efforts.
These limited VIP packages are only available on ifOnly.com. Click on the following link for more information: https://www.ifonly.com/santa-barbara-zoo