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This Week’s Creature Feature ... Give a Wild Gift This Holiday

Hang a gift on the National Zoo’s Enrichment Giving Tree

Grateful for the wild things that enrich your world? Choose a wild gift from the Animal Enrichment Wish List to hang on the Smithsonian National Zoo’s Enrichment Giving Tree.
    Speaking for the animals, zookeepers and researchers have asked for toenail clippers, bubble machines, natural-colored feather dusters and shower radios with CD players.
    Lest you worry that next year the lions will want iPads, understand that every item on the Zoo’s Wish List keeps the animals engaged and interested in the world around them. Items are chosen to challenge animals, bring out their natural hunting and foraging skills and keep all of their senses engaged. The items also help the zookeepers care for their charges and study their behavior.
    Be a Secret Santa in these ways:
    • Donate money for the zoo to use in the Animal Enrichment Program.
    • Shop at an online store filled with enrichment items and daily necessities, then bring your purchases to the zoo’s Asia Trail store.
    • If you really want to walk on the wild side, drop off art supplies to the zoo.
    Animals from naked mole rats to pandas to lions create images with non-toxic water-based paint on canvass.
    Want to see the animals’ art?
    Visit the zoo this spring for the American Association of Zoo Keepers Art Show, where wild artworks will be on sale.
    For now, consider a donation to the zoo this year. Wish list at