Santa Claus delivers presents to chimps at Lion County Safari

LOXAHATCHEE, Fla. - There was an early Santa Claus sighting Thursday in Palm Beach County.

Old St. Nick was spotted at Lion Country Safari and brought some holiday cheer to the theme park's chimpanzees.

Santa delivered wrapped presents of food, stuffed animals, and clothing.

Unwrapping the gifts helps stimulate the animals physically and mentally.

This is the 28th year the jolly man in red has visited Lion Country at Christmastime.

It's the one time when Lion County guests can get out of their vehicles and observe the chimps in the Safari Preserve.    
"The chimpanzees are as excited as you or I about receiving their Christmas presents. The fact that they are such intelligent primates makes it necessary for us to always go that extra mile to provide them with stimulating environmental enrichments. This is a benefit for the staff and chimps", said Wildlife Director Terry Wolf in a written release.

The chimps who received presents today ranged in age from 7 to 75.

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