PRESS RELEASE / ANNOUNCEMENTS Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Life-Sized Tonka Trucks at SB Zoo for Big Day on Sept. 28


· BIG Zoo Animals Highlighted – Elephants, Giraffes, Condors, & More
· Jumbo Sized Tonka Trucks & Zoo Conservation 4Runners on Zoo Hilltop
· Keeper Talks, Activities, Raffles, Free Prizes, and More BIG Fun
· Free With Admission; Early Admission at 9 a.m. for Zoo Members and Anyone Who Shows a Toyota or Scion Auto Key

Santa Barbara, CA, September 2, 2014 – The Santa Barbara Zoo celebrates some of its biggest, most awesome animals – elephants, giraffes, condors, and more – in honor of a visit by three life-sized cars inspired by tiny toys, along with the Zoo’s own rugged field research fleet of SUVs. Big Day at the Zoo is held Sunday, September 28, 2014, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Early admission for Zoo members and anyone who shows a car key for a Toyota or Scion.)
Big Day activities are free with Zoo admission, which is $15 for adults, $12 for seniors aged 65+, $10 for children 2-12, and free for children under 2. Parking is $6. More information is available at, and (805) 962-5339.
“What a thrill to have Tonka at the Zoo. Kids love Tonka trucks, I know I did,” said Zoo CEO Rich Block. “These jumbo-sized vehicles give us a chance to revel in all the big-and-tall creatures here at the Zoo. Our partnership with Toyota grew out of their generous donation of three 4Runners used for our local field conservation programs, such as California condors.
Special keeper talks explore what is considered “big” in the animal world and at the Zoo, including the Asian elephants (heaviest), Masai giraffes (the tallest), California condors (9½ foot wingspan), capybaras (world’s largest rodents), Burmese python (“Chief” is 12-feet long), and others. Special activities and truck demonstrations are also planned, as are raffles to win toys from Tonka, My Little Pony and Pound Puppies.
The two life-sized Tonka trucks and other vehicles will be on view at the Zoo’s hilltop. The larger than life Tonka T-Rex made its screen debut in the film “Transformers 4: Age of Extinction.” It stands 12-feet high when fully lifted and weighs 10,000 pounds.
The Tonka Tundra debuted this year, and is outfitted as the ultimate off-road rescue vehicle. This massive vehicle is a themed tribute to all emergency responders, and features a 10 inch lift, premier custom truck parts, a brightly colored red and yellow body, emergency themed lights, an authentic siren, and custom-built fire hose air canon.
The festive and one-of-a-kind Gazillion Bubbles Bubble Blowing Car will be on hand to add bubble-y fun, and the Zoo’s own three colorful Toyota 4Runners are also featured. The 4Runners were donated by local Gold Coast Toyota Dealers earlier this year to be used for Zoo field conservation in the dusty and bumpy California backcountry. Each vehicle is “wrapped” with images of a different local endangered species, including California condors, Channel Island foxes, and local amphibians.

Known as one of the world’s most beautiful zoos, the Santa Barbara Zoo is located on 30 acres of botanic gardens and is home to nearly 500 individual animals in open, naturalistic habitats. It is accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA), representing the highest level of animal care, and participates in AZA endangered species programs for Asian elephant, California condor, Channel Island fox, and Western lowland gorilla, among others. A private nonprofit corporation, the Santa Barbara Zoo depends on community support, not tax dollars, for operations and improvements.

The Zoo is open daily from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; general admission is $15 for adults, $12 for seniors aged 65+, $10 for children 2-12, and children under 2 are free. Parking is $6.

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