Entries are now being accepted for the Smithsonian National Zoo’s Gin-GRR-bread Habitat Contest. This year’s theme is “A Winter’s Tail on the American Trail,” the newest exhibit at the National Zoo that is home to four California sea lions, a gray seal, a bald eagle, two ravens, two pelicans, two otters and three beavers.
Creatively designed gingerbread house-style habitats will be evaluated based on aesthetic aspects of the habitats and the welfare of the animals living in them — with space to move, climb, swim and explore, shelter from the heat and cold, and food and places to eat and drink.
Winning entries will be revealed Nov. 30 during the zoo’s annual holiday light festival, ZooLights. Winners will receive an exclusive keeper-led tour of the American Trail for 10 guests. The contest is open to all ages. One grand prize and honorable mention will be awarded in three categories: family or youth team, adult team and adult individual (18 and older). Teams must be two to five participants.
Habitats must be delivered to the zoo (3001 Connecticut Ave. N.W.) Nov. 17 or 18 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. A $20 non-refundable fee is required (cash or check only). To be eligible for the competition, entrants must register on the zoo’s website.