And loving it.
polar bear san diego zoo
Credit: Courtesy of The San Diego Zoo

While snow and the desert climates of San Diego, California almost never mix, sometimes miracles do happen. Three polar bears at the San Diego Zoo woke up to 26 tons of fresh powdery snow.

The snow, which came as a surprise to the world famous zoo thanks to an animal care wish list program, transformed the bear’s otherwise sunny polar bear plunge exhibit into a blistery winter wonderland.

Polar bears San Diego Zoo Global © 2015
Credit: Courtesy of The San Diego Zoo

The three Bears, Kalluk, Tatqiq and Chinook who were rescued in 2001 at young age, were able to wrestle and slide in what one would imagine to be a more natural habitat them as their caretakers buried food throughout the exhibit, giving them a chance to dig for their prizes.

“This was a special day for the polar bears, and I could tell they really loved it,” Susan Purtell, a senior keeper, said. “It was great seeing them roll around in the snow, showcasing their natural behaviors.”

If you can’t get enough polar bear action, check out the live polar cam or polar bear blog, courtesy of the San Diego Zoo.

Michelle Gross is a Freelance Producer at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @mtothegnyc