WATERTOWN, S.D. (KELO)– For those with a broken heart, Valentine’s Day can often be a difficult day. However, Bramble Park Zoo came up with a solution to make the day a little easier.
This year, they are hosting their first-ever “Shred-Your Ex” Anti-Valentine’s Day event. With just a $10 donation, people can bring in a photo of their ex, a piece of paper with their ex’s name on it, or even a bottle of their ex’s cologne and watch the big cats tear it to shreds. The items will be placed in a box and sprayed with cologne and placed out for the cats to tear.
The event will take place Sunday, Feb. 14 at 1 p.m. at the big cat exhibit at Bramble Park Zoo and will be live-streamed. Visitors can also watch the event in-person after paying the admission fee. To participate in the event and attend in-person, the event will be the cost of admission in addition to the $10 donation, Jaime Stricker, Zoo Educator at Bramble Park Zoo said.
They will bring all the cats into their holding area and then place out the enrichment items for them to explore and play with. Visitors watching in-person will be outside, so make sure to dress for the weather, Stricker said.
Stricker said one of their zoo keepers got the idea after seeing another zoo hosting an event like this.
“The more research I did there’s actually lots of restaurants and things that do this, so you could shred chicken wings in honor of your ex, there’s different places that do that,” Stricker said. “We sort of took our own spin on it and we are going to give the boxes to snow leopards, the tiger and if there is enough interest to our wolves and coyotes.”
The zoo currently has one jaguar named Brutus, one tiger named Ursula, and two snow leopards named Yeti and Maddie Jo, Stricker said. She did clarify that snow leopards are not actually considered big cats because they don’t roar, they purr. Brutus does not enjoy the cold weather, considering he is a South American species, so he will not be participating in this event, but Ursula, Maddie Jo and Yeti love the cold weather, Stricker said.
Stricker said they have seen a lot of excitement and interest about the event on their Facebook page, however, no one has actually dropped off any items yet. Items can be dropped off at the zoo between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. daily. Stricker said they would like to receive all the items by noon on Sunday so they can get all the boxes safely prepared.
“We are hoping that maybe people are just procrastinating and will get us that stuff so that we can sort of know and prepare for the event,” Stricker said. “They can come last minute Sunday, but it would be better if we knew in advanced that they were really coming.”
Stricker said that with the weather, they expect the event to last up to an hour at the most.
This is their first time hosting an event like this, Stricker said, however, enrichment is something they do for their cats all the time.
“It is completely safe and approved by our vet,” Stricker said. “We just thought we would add a little something with the Anti-Valentine’s Day and the sheading of your ex, which we heard from the other zoo.”