Bear Hollow Zoo Decorates Exhibits For Holiday Light Show | Arts & Culture


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The holiday season is back. Athens is full of activities to distract from the finals or find some holiday cheer over the past few weeks until the University of Georgia’s pedagogical break.

A holiday event can be found at the Bear Hollow Zoo – the 11th annual Deck the Hollow event opened on December 3 and will be held for the last time this season on December 12.

Bear Hollow Zoo was decorated with jets of lights and festive inflatable decorations. Ella Terrell, a second year environmental engineering student at UGA, visited the zoo for its party atmosphere.

“They definitely put on a show at the Bear Hollow Zoo. There were inflatables at every corner of the park, ”Terrell said. “I think seeing Santa Claus was my favorite part. I would go back for the Christmas atmosphere there.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event had to be changed in some respects. Program specialist Megan Hong and her team have taken precautions to keep their holiday tradition alive and safe for attendees. Excluding live music and concessions, which have been present at the event in the past ,.

“This year, and last year, we had to do an edited COVID version [of Deck the Hollow]Hong said. By limiting the number of participants to 50 per half-hour, the zoo was able to encourage social distancing.

The Bear Hollow Zoo operates normally during the Deck the Hollow event and many of its unique animal residents are on full display. The zoo is home to more than 50 different species of local animals, including various species of bears, owls, reptiles and otters, which have been deemed non-releasable.

“These are animals that cannot live on their own in the wild due to injuries or footprints [on humans]”Hong said.” They are deemed unreliable by the Natural Resources Department or a veterinarian because they couldn’t find food, water, shelter, or avoid danger on their own. “

The Bear Hollow Zoo was founded not only to provide a home for these unsuitable animals for natural survival, but also to educate the public about the nature that surrounds the area. Terrell found the park to be an educational experience and a fun way to spend an evening.

“I had a lot of fun at the zoo today. I thought it was super informative, ”Terrell said. “All the employees were so nice and [were] give information about all the animals while we visited the park.

While the nightly event ends on December 12, visitors can still see the zoo decorated for the holidays while visiting the park during the day. The zoo will keep all of its holiday decorations until Christmas.

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