Zoo’s reindeer selected for Santa’s Christmas flight

The Great Plains Zoo is pleased to announce two of its reindeer have been added to Santa’s Christmas Eve flight roster.

"Turk" and "Rose", both age three, have called the Zoo home since 2007. When they learned Santa had openings on his team earlier this year, they immediately applied and began training. The Zoo learned they had been selected this week.

"Santa had an opportunity to meet our reindeer family when he was here for breakfast a couple weeks ago," said Elizabeth A. Whealy, President and CEO of the Great Plains Zoo. "They made a great impression, and he was excited about the possibility of adding them to his lineup. This is a very prestigious honor for our reindeer."

While their daughter "Ivy", born last April, is too young to pull the sleigh this year, she is helping her parents get ready for the big flight. From now until Christmas Eve, most of their days will consist of exercising, eating and sleeping in preparation for the night-long voyage. They’ll join Santa’s sleigh on Christmas Eve, and return to the Zoo early Christmas morning. While her parents are away, Ivy will remain at the Zoo where she will be looked after by the Animal Care staff.

The Great Plains Zoo and Delbridge Museum of Natural History is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with the last admission at 4 p.m. Visit the Zoo online at www.greatzoo.org or call 605-367-7003 for more information about the Zoo and Museum.

— From a Great Plains Zoo news release

About Author

Seth Tupper

Seth Tupper was born and raised in South Dakota and earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from South Dakota State University in 2001. After college, he worked at a newspaper in Minnesota and then returned to South Dakota in 2003 to join the staff of The Daily Republic in Mitchell, where he is currently the publisher. Seth has won numerous awards for his writing, including the 2007 Outstanding Young Journalist award in the daily newspapers category of the South Dakota Newspaper Association’s Better Newspapers Contest. Seth’s day-job and freelance work have granted him opportunities to meet hundreds of South Dakotans and travel across much of the state. He also spends a lot of his free time exploring South Dakota’s state and national parks, hiking trails and kayak-friendly rivers.

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