Carnivore Campout Kick-Off!

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Shani, a serval, met campers up close during Carnivore Campout at the Zoo.

Shani, a serval, met campers up close during Carnivore Campout at the Zoo.

Last weekend, we held our first Carnivore Campout here at the San Diego Zoo. Campers started off the evening creating felt carnivore ears, including blue leopards, pink cheetahs, and green lions! Wearing their ears with pride, families had the opportunity to take a photo with two special guests: Ojos, a screech owl, and Wrangler, a caiman lizard. After a fabulous introduction from the Zoo’s own Dr. Zoolittle, we met some of the Zoo’s smaller carnivores in the auditorium. Our amazing educators brought in Shani, a serval, and Estrella, a ring-tailed cat, who sniffed, stretched, and rolled around before our eyes. Finally, guests met Phu, our charismatic binturong, more commonly known as the bearcat. After getting up close and personal with these carnivorous creatures, we enjoyed a bus tour of the Zoo and returned to Camp Timbuktu for a delicious dinner.

When our bellies were full, we met up with Dr. Zoolittle, who informed us of a mystery unfolding at the Zoo. Soon after, we embarked on an endangered species mystery hunt, searching for clues spread out all over the Zoo. After we identified the culprit, we took a break to see one more animal—a Madagascan ground boa named Manja. Our brave educators brought this magnificent snake out to the campground, and, with the help of a little extra lighting, we were able to see and even touch him!

After enjoying extra-gooey s’mores around the campfire, we took a nighttime stroll around the Zoo to visit some nocturnal animals. Back at the campground, we fell asleep to the sounds of our African lion, M’bari, roaring.
In the morning, we enjoyed a mouth-watering meal. Afterward, we visited the jaguar and maned wolf exhibits to watch them devour their own breakfast. After a brief walk through Elephant Odyssey, we boarded a bus and headed for the exit. All in all, it was a roaring good time!

Miss out on last week’s Carnivore Campout? Don’t worry, there are more sleepovers to come!

Carnivore Campouts will be held at the San Diego Zoo on July 19 and August 16.

Black & White Overnight sleepovers will be held August 2 (families) and August 9 (adults only).

Spooky Sleepovers will be held October 18 and 25.

Visit our sleepover page or call 619-718-3000 for more information!

We hope you can join us soon for a wild night!

Megan Adcock is a conservation education specialist at the San Diego Zoo.