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San Diego Zoo’s Nighttime Zoo Allows Guests to Stay a Little Longer

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Related: Panda Cub Climbs His Way into New Exhibit at San Diego Zoo /Kids and Moms Enjoy San Diego Zoo in New Way 

Animals, Acrobats and Artisans Add Fun to Extended Hours

The San Diego Zoo’s Nighttime Zoo began Saturday (June 26) with extended hours and spontaneous fun popping up all over the grounds. Acrobats dressed as animals will hold impromptu shows in unexpected places and entice guests to become part of the act. Artists will paint to music in the front plaza, making huge, colorful animals come to life on canvas. And the Zoo’s signature summer bird show will have a bald eagle buzzing the audience. The extended hours of Nighttime Zoo from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. give guests extra time to visit the more than 4, 500 rare and endangered animals at the Zoo. Nighttime Zoo is celebrated through September 6, 2010.

"The San Diego Zoo really comes alive in the evening – it’s my favorite time of the year, " said John Dunlap, director, San Diego Zoo. "Nighttime Zoo is designed to appeal to every member of the family. There are activities for the kids, but its also a lot of fun for the adults."

Nighttime Zoo welcomes the return of Stephen Fishwick’s "Splash! Animals, " an explosion of paint and music that entertains guests on the front plaza as they wait to see what animal will come to life on his canvas. Look for the shows every hour starting at 3:30 p.m. Between paintings, the sounds of steelpan drums will float over the entrance of the Zoo. The musical group Three Hour Tour will perform on the front plaza with ukuleles and tamboo-bamboos, a bamboo instrument that can be tuned, creating a very unique sound.

Guest also should be on the lookout for agile frogs, lions and monkeys during their visit to Nighttime Zoo. Amazing acrobats in animal costumes will show off a variety of movements during surprise encounters around the Zoo. Each animal acrobat team will invite guests to join the fun in unexpected ways.

Dr. Zoolittle, the Zoo’s physician of fun, is showing off nature’s tricks during a daily show for families at Discovery Outpost. Animals often use clever "tricks" to help them survive in the wild and have amazing adaptations that allow them to do things that seem quite magical to us. Dr. Zoolittle might have a few tricks of his own during the performances at 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 p.m.

Complete the evening at the San Diego Zoo by watching the free-flight birds, dazzling lights and memorable music at "SOAR: A Symphony in Flight." The evening show will feature a bald eagle that flies just inches above the audience and parrots that sing and teach guests how easy it is to recycle. This feathered extravaganza at Hunte Amphitheatre is the signature show for Nighttime Zoo and runs each night at 8 p.m.

The 100-acre San Diego Zoo is operated by the not-for-profit Zoological Society of San Diego. The Zoological Society, dedicated to the conservation of endangered species and their habitats, engages in conservation and research work around the globe. The Zoological Society also manages the 1, 800-acre San Diego Zoo’s Wild Animal Park (more than half of which has been set aside as protected native species habitat) and the center for Conservation and Research for Endangered Species (CRES). The important conservation and science work of these entities is supported in part by the Foundation for the Zoological Society of San Diego.

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