Snowy Santa Barbara: Snow Leopard Romp

The mysterious and majestic felines have their own festival.

Santa Barbara Zoo

SNOW IN THE FORECAST: You can count on some snowy sights showing up in the mountains of California in the weeks ahead, for sure, but there's another surprising spot that will soon see the flurries: the American Riviera. There are a few caveats, of course: Santa Barbara's icy moment will happen on a specific day in early December, and the snow will bring the chill solely to the Santa Barbara Zoo. The animal park actually has two famous residents with "snow" in their very names, and we're not talking about their given names, which are Everett and Zoe. We speak of the snow leopards, the gorgeous, beautiful-of-coat, intelligent-of-eye felines who can be found (if one were to search very hard) in the high peaks of central Asia. But Everett and Zoe call the...

SANTA BARBARA ZOO... home, a home that throws the pair a frosty bash each year. It's the Snow Leopard Festival, and it shall swish its long tail on Sunday, Dec. 4. Snow will be out for the youngs'un to play in, while Santa will be nearby for photos. As for the art-making and craft-creating? It will boast a snow leopard theme. Learning more about these large cats, their high-up-there homes, and what challenges they face — and what we humans might do — is part of the heart of the late-fall festivity. Ever seen a snow leopard in person? You might, if you go to the zoo for this special and spirited day.

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