Princess Weekend raises the scepter for frog conservation

Frog kissing is not required at Princess Weekend, but there will be live animal encounters and keeper talks about several of the zoo’s amphibians.

Staff Report

A hit with budding royalty since 2009 when the Santa Barbara Zoo first raised the scepter for amphibian conservation, Princess Day is now a two-day affair, dubbed Princess Weekend.

This year’s event will be from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, March 10-11. Zoo members are allowed early entry starting at 9 a.m.

Girls put on tiaras, step into their glass slippers, and wear their finest sparkly ball gowns to this celebration of all-things-princess. However, the event also brings attention to the many frogs, toads, and other amphibians around the world that face possible extinction.

“There has been a shocking drop in populations of the world’s amphibians,” said Santa Barbara Zoo CEO Rich Block. “If only there was a Fairy Godmother with a magic wand to fix the problems they face.

“In the absence of that, accredited zoos and aquariums are working to address the issues in the wild, and are creating temporary captive ‘lifeboats’ of some of the most threatened species.”

Frog kissing is not required, but there are live animal encounters and keeper talks about several of the zoo’s amphibians including the milky frog, marine toad, blue tongue skink, caiman lizard and Western toad, among others.

Costumes are encouraged, and boys are also welcome, be they dressed as knights, princes, cowboys, pirates, or astronauts.

Entry is free with zoo admission — $18 for adults, $13 for seniors 65 and older, and $10 for children 2-12. Weekend parking costs $11.

For more information, visit www.sbzoo.org.