WE THINK YOU KNOW THIS, and we all know this, and we all must deal with the reality of what we know daily, even in the face of all of the social media sites and posts and photographs that may attempt to sway us otherwise: We can't have a home full of otter pups. We will never have a giraffe in the backyard, and hoping we can parent a young anteater or polar bear or koala? It must remain a dream kept deep within our hearts. All of the adorable online snapshots, though, of all of those super-mega-cute critters do give many animal lovers a longing to get closer to the beasties they do understandably obsess over. But there is a way to connect visually with some of those sweet beasties, and, just possibly, score the chance to display your animal affections for many people to admire, too. How? By entering The Wild Things of the Santa Barbara Zoo Photo Contest. The Wildling Museum of Solvang is the zoo's partner on the competition, which is on now through Thursday, Feb. 15 at 5 p.m. (that's the deadline for submitting your entry).
HAVE YOU TAKEN A FABULOUS PHOTO... of a Santa Barbara Zoo denizen? Maybe a flamingo standing in a sunbeam or snow leopard in mid-strut? Enter your perfect pic and maybe, fingers crossed, see it chosen for an exhibit at the animal park's own Volentine Gallery, located in the Discovery Pavilion. There's an adult category, and one for kids, too, and prizes include zoo passes and memberships as well as other goodies like gift cards. "The aim is to have photographers of all ages and skill levels capture the character and individuality of the animals that live at the Zoo, from large to small, and to have fun doing it," says Wildling Museum Executive Director Stacey Otte-Demangate. "Focus on your favorite animal or simply explore. We are looking for images as wild as the Zoo itself." For all the details you need on entering and the rules, start here, shutterbugs. We can't keep an otter in a bassinet, nor a giraffe in the yard, but we can celebrate our love for furry and feathery beings through our exhibit-ready photographs.