Reindeer await Santa!

Our Countdown to Christmas has begun and our reindeer are eagerly awaiting Santa’s arrival later this week.

Our eight girls have been enjoying trips to the castle with keepers as they familiarise themselves with the route from the reindeer paddock to the cobbled courtyard ahead of their all-important festive duties.

Our reindeer are trained to occasionally wear harnesses and halters, which not only aids any medical checks or animal moves throughout the year, but also so they can go and meet lots of excited youngsters visiting Santa’s Winter Wonderland grotto in the castle throughout December.

Keeper Ellis Robinson, pictured above, said: “We start retraining around September and most weeks, before the zoo opens to the public, we walk a small group up to the castle so they’re comfortable with the route and the harnesses.

“They’re always so eager to go and they get really excited to get on the grass in the courtyard.

“They always prove popular with our Christmas visitors and of course they’ll need to be safely harnessed and ready for the all-important sleigh-pulling duties on Christmas Eve.”

In our herd we have two family groups, with 12 year-old Maggie, who is mum to two year-old Ivy and nine year-old Minnie-Mag, mum to six year-old Bracken.

We also have 15 year-old Blizzard, who is mum to three year-old Jasmine and ten year-old Lily, mum to three year-old Sunflower.