The Zoo Shares Holiday Wish Lists for the Animals

Posted Date

November 30, 2023


In The News, Local Area

During the holidays, the Milwaukee County Zoo animals are hoping for a few new gifts to use as enrichment. Enrichment items are used in activities throughout the year to enhance all aspects of an animal’s wellbeing by addressing the behavioral, environmental, physical, psychological, and social needs of the species.

Through the Zoo’s “Giving Tree,” a specially designed Christmas tree decorated with sparkling lights and ornaments with animal requests…wishes really do come true! The tree will be showcased in the Zoo’s U.S. Bank Gathering Place, December 1 – 31. An annual holiday tradition, the “Giving Tree” gives Zoo guests an opportunity to make a connection with their favorite animal and donate with a gift, gift card, or monetary donation.

The “Giving Tree” will be “aglow” and decorated with handmade paper ornaments featuring animal enrichment ideas from the animal care team, ranging from: 100% Shredded Mini Wheat Cereal for the Zoo’s primates, to a Large Parrot Toy for the bats.

Visitors can choose any ornament to take home and purchase the listed item. Gifts can be dropped off at the Zoo’s Administration Office in the U.S. Bank Gathering Place. (Let the gate attendant know you’re visiting on behalf of the “Giving Tree.”)

The Zoological Society’s Zoo Pride volunteers create the handmade ornaments that adorn the “Giving Tree.” Each ornament features the name of an enrichment item, the name of the animal, the cost, and information on where to purchase.

Visitors can choose an ornament for their favorite animal and either purchase the item themselves, or make a monetary donation, and the Zoo will purchase the item on the visitor’s behalf. Click here for a complete list of wishes. Gift cards of any amount are also welcome and encouraged, so the animal care team can choose what they need.

The “Giving Tree” will feature many different gift suggestions including:

  • Otters: Heavy-duty Mesh Hammocks; Fat Cat Exercise Wheel
  • Elephants: Jolly Pets Push-n-Play Ball Dog Toy
  • Big Cats: Kid’s Non-toxic Bubble Bath; Acrylic Safety Shatter-resistant Mirror


For more information on the “Giving Tree,” contact the Zoo at 414-256-5466.