“It’s like they’re standing in front of me!” said six-year-old Dave Velazquez on a field trip with his school. “It’s totally awesome! It’s better than Wii or X-Box!” Thanks to a generous grant from the AFE Foundation*, guests entering the Santa Barbara Zoo are given free 3D glasses for this innovative experience.
“3D technology has proven increasingly popular and is currently being used in movie theaters, theme park rides, video games and on television,” says Zoo CEO Rich Block. “The Santa Barbara Zoo is the very first zoo or aquarium on the planet to exploit this 21st century technology to enhance our guests’ experience.”
“Not only do the glasses make the animals seem lifelike,” notes said Sheri Horiszny, the Zoo’s Director of Animal Care, “but many exhibits also come equipped with smell.”
The Crawford Family Penguin House carries the painstakingly recreated odor of a Chilean rookery, for example. The gorilla exhibit is redolent of a gorilla troupe’s musk from the African forest. The flamingo exhibit, notes Horiszny, “is an experience words cannot adequately describe.”
“We’ll do anything to make the guest experience more meaningful,” said Tiffany Musgrove, Director of Conservation Education. “Our giraffe feeding deck even comes equipped with slime.”
The Santa Barbara Zoo is open daily from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; general admission is $14 for adults, $10 for children 2-12 and seniors 65+, and children under 2 are free. Parking is $6. Visit www.sbzoo.org.
* April Fools Everybody Foundation