Hattiesburg Zoo hosts Hangin’ With My Peeps

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The Hattiesburg Zoo celebrated Easter by hosting Hangin’ With My Peeps March 30 to April 1 at Kamper Park.

Hangin’ With My Peeps offered various Easter activities for families across the Pine Belt to enjoy, including a hunt for golden eggs.

“My nephew, Daniel, absolutely loves Easter, so I was really excited to hear that the Hattiesburg Zoo was doing something to celebrate the holiday,” elementary school teacher Ashley Branch said.

“He got so caught up playing the games and doing the crafts that I think he forgot about the egg hunt. We didn’t walk away with a golden egg, but we walked away with sweet memories.”

Zoo staff hid 20 golden eggs for children of all ages to find. People who find golden eggs could bring them to the gift shop and exchange them for a prize.

“Hattie,” the iconic elephant located at the entrance of the Hattiesburg Zoo, was also dressed in festive Easter attire.

“It’s funny, I know that I’m way too old to be at the Hattiesburg Zoo at an Easter egg hunt, but it’s just one of those things you never quite grow out of,” William Carey music therapy student Tessa Lichtenhan said.

After three days of searching, only one egg was still left undiscovered. “One egg remained. It was hidden underneath a brown Zoo stroller. It was the only cart that no one rented! All 3 bonus eggs were collected,” the Hattiesburg Zoo Facebook post said.

Hangin’ With My Peeps is not the only holiday event featured at the Hattiesburg Zoo. The Hattiesburg Zoo also hosts Zoo Boo at Halloween time and Zoo Lights during the Christmas season.

“I had already planned on bringing the little boys I babysit down here to play and see all of the animals,” junior broadcast journalism major Brooke Bullock said. “I had no idea they were even having games, crafts and an Easter egg hunt. I’ll have to tell their mom we are going to be here a while.”

Recently, the Hattiesburg Zoo has expanded its animal kingdom. Additions to the zoo include the interactive “Wallaby Walkabout” exhibit, which opened in early February, and the giraffe exhibit, which, according to zoo staff, is set to be opened in the next few years.

“I’m really excited to see that the zoo is adding the Walkabout exhibit and the giraffe exhibit,” Branch said. “Hattiesburg is known for being such a good ‘family town’ and I think that the new exhibits are just adding to the family-friendly reputation the city already has.”

People can visit the Hattiesburg Zoo’s website to stay up-to-date with other events happening at the zoo.