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Twist on nativity story at the Bowmanville Zoo

The Animals GiftVisitors to Ontario’s Central Counties can rediscover the wonder of Christmas in a most unusual way this year at the Bowmanville Zoo. On weekend afternoons from December 7 to 29, the Bowmanville Zoo presents The Animal’s Gift, a heartwarming rendition of the nativity story uniquely told from the perspective of animals.

The Animal’s Gift celebrates the animal-human bond in a multicultural family friendly event. In this new twist on the age-old story, the wild creatures of field and forest come forward to deliver their own gifts to the Christ child: movement from the horse, intelligence from the elephant, bravery from the lion, and many more. About 40 animals are involved in the 90-minute production, which also highlights the religious importance of several animals, from the camels that carried the wise men to witness Jesus’ birth to the baboons that the ancient Egyptians worshipped as the god Anubis.

“While The Animal’s Gift was created to celebrate the holiday season, we also hope to expose children who live in cities to animals they may only see in picture books or on television and film,” says zoo owner Michael Hackenberger. “This event is a further extension of the zoo’s mission to encourage an appreciation and respect for the magnificent creatures with which we share this planet.”

“There is no other show like The Animal’s Gift anywhere in Ontario and maybe even Canada, and we are thrilled that it is within Central Counties,” said Chuck Thibeault, Executive Director, Central Counties Tourism. “We urge everyone to bring home the memory of this heartwarming show, and invite them to discover a wealth of other holiday delights in the area.”

While visiting the Central Counties, guests can also take in Santa Rides the Rails, a one-hour trip with Santa on a vintage train travelling the York-Durham Heritage Railway; A Snow White Christmas, a world premiere holiday musical at the historic Orangeville Town Hall; a traditional carol sing at Sharon Temple National Historic Site and Museum; Breakfast with Santa at the Elman W. Campbell Museum; and much more.

A popular tourist destination situated 45 minutes east of Toronto, the Bowmanville Zoo is Canada’s oldest private zoo. Home to over 300 animals ranging over 42 scenic acres of natural parkland, the zoo is an advocate for educating and demonstrating the importance of the ethical treatment and care of animals. It is also one of the largest suppliers of animals for the film and television industry.