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Santa Claus stops by San Antonio Zoo

Rare Okapi gets gifts of leaves, lettuce

SAN ANTONIO - Santa Claus made an early appearance in San Antonio on Thursday to pay a visit to the zoo and one of the rarest animals in the world, the Okapi.

For the special animal came a special gift from Santa of fresh vegetation, including banana leaves and lettuce.

A cousin of the giraffe, San Antonio's Okapi, named Chuma, is 27 years old, and is the oldest living male Okapi in the world. 

The native African animal didn’t waste time enjoying his present.

"He had a ball. He had fun," Santa said.

Santa not only to brought gifts but let people know he will be appearing at the zoo every weekend between now and Christmas.

Kids can get pictures with Santa in the butterfly display or they can join Santa on a parade around the zoo delivering more gifts for the animals.

Spending time with the animals away from the North Pole so close to Christmas might cause a little problem with the reindeer.

"There maybe a little bit of jealousy, but I know how to take care of them, and I spend more time with them than I do with the animals in the zoo," Santa said.

Not only will kids get to hang out with Santa at the zoo, but they can also learn how to make eco-friendly ornaments, decorate trees, and write letters to Santa.

"You can’t beat Santa Claus at the zoo," said Lacy Morrison, with the San Antonio Zoo.


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