Looking in from Julia Davis Park, Zoo Boise looks serene. Even its tallest residents, the giraffes, peer mildly over the tree-shaded fence in the summer months, ever on the lookout for action.
The giraffes' expressions are deceptive: The zoo has had a long, eventful year. In May, it announced the birth of a Patagonian cavy baby and the arrival of two red pandas. In September, two serval kittens joined the Zoo Boise family. In November, it won its third national accreditation in 15 years and a patas monkey was killed in a bizarre and heart-rending break-in.
Amid all of this action, the zoo has continued to fulfill its mission to educate and entertain the public about animals from the farthest-flung corners of the globe. It's all made possible by the community's support, and on Saturday, Dec. 1, zoo officials will thank the community for that support in the form of Claus 'n Paws—the one day all year when admission fees to the zoo are waived.
Check out old favorites like the giraffes—Julius and Jabari—the sloth bear and the zoo farm, or meet the new additions to Zoo Boise including the cavy baby and red pandas.
And keep an eye out for one fur-coated exotic visitor who will only be around during Claws 'n Paws—Santa. He will make the rounds between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., and be available for photos, so bring your camera as well as the kids. Local schools will also provide musical entertainment throughout the day.