Wildwood Zoo Facebook Post Reaches Millions Worldwide

Video of Deer Enjoying Christmas Feast Goes Viral

It wasn’t just the humans enjoying a nice dinner for Christmas. Thanks to zookeeper Steve Burns and dedicated zoo volunteer Pam Nikolai, the deer at Wildwood Zoo also enjoyed a delicious spread of apples, broccoli, celery, and other goodies as seen by viewers on December 25.

After uploading a video of the feast to Facebook, the video quickly went viral worldwide. With viewers in Sweden, Canada, Iraq, Austria, Norway, Netherlands, Romania, Serbia, and more (and the most popular location for views being Quebec, Canada), the video has reached more than two million people and is expected to reach three million by tomorrow. In just one week, the Zoo’s Facebook page has increased “Likes” by 3,948.

Seeking to provide fun enrichment for the animals at Wildwood Zoo’s Christmas event, Burns and Nikolai brainstormed the plan to create a holiday feast for the deer, complete with table settings.

Since it was just after the big snow storm and pretty cold, we weren’t expecting too many people and decided that most wouldn’t want to walk up to the deer exhibit, so we set it up. That is when the video was taken,” said Nikolai. “I think for me, it was a much more amazing to see in person than I had envisioned.”

After posting the video on Christmas morning as a cute holiday greeting, Nikolai expected a few hundred likes and a few shares. What happened instead was surprising.

“All day I just couldn’t believe how the views, likes, and shares were growing! By late Sunday it was at 55,000 views,” she said. “By Monday morning it was at 100,000 views. Then by 2:30 on Tuesday we hit 1 million views! I don’t think either of us expected this video to be this much of a hit, at all. Especially to be seen in at least ten other countries also!”

Parks & Recreation Director Justin Casperson acknowledged Burns and Nikolai for setting up the dinner and shooting and posting the video.