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Santa delivers gifts to Cincinnati Zoo animals before heading back to North Pole

(Photo:{ }Cincinnati Zoo)

CINCINNATI, Ohio (WKRC) – Ol' Saint Nick spread some Christmas cheer at the Cincinnati Zoo by giving gifts to a few of its residents.

Fiona the Hippo, Ajani Joe, Pocket the Wallaby, Lucas the baby red Panda and Theo the Giraffe all got a visit from the big man in red, who was wearing a mask.

“Santa brought baby rhino Ajani Joe a great big ball and went with a sure favorite for red pandas – bamboo,” said Cincinnati Zoo director Thane Maynard. “Fiona was thrilled with the lettuce that he brought her and liked the box it was on just as much! Baby wallaby Pocket and baby giraffe Theo took their time investigating Santa’s gifts.”

"The Zoo’s internal elves, aka the volunteer enrichment committee, helped Santa prepare gift boxes, houses, and stockings using recycled materials and non-toxic paint that is keeper approved and safe for the animals. The curator of nutrition selected the edible treats!" said the Cincinnati Zoo.