Not your average Christmas tree decoration!

I’m somewhat nonplussed by the latest offering at the gift shop of the Miller Park Zoo in Bloomington, IL.

Staffers make decorations out of droppings from the zoo’s two reindeer, Ealu and Rika. The droppings are dried, then clear-coated and either painted or rolled in glitter.

Zoo marketing director Susie Ohley has named the products “magical reindeer gem ornaments,” and each comes with a label of authenticity. They cost $5 at the zoo gift shop.

Staffer Katie Buydos, who makes jewelry as a hobby, donated wire and beads, saying, “Susie asked me to bring some creativity to the table.”

Some folks are surprised at the size of the “gems,” which are only about as big as marbles. “Reindeer are so big,” zoo maintenance worker Sheldon Williams said. But the droppings are “just a big pile of small.”

Uh . . . OK, if that floats your boat. Personally, I don’t see anything ‘magical’ about reindeer poop! What’s the old saying – ‘You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear’? I’d imagine you could re-work that to refer to Christmas ornaments and reindeer droppings!

Besides, what about the smell if one of them gets too close to a Christmas candle?



  1. Actually, didn’t some group of researchers synthesize a very silk-like fiber out of pig ear tissue, and weave a tiny pouch from it just to prove the old adage wrong?

    At any rate, pig-ear-fiber research sounds like a much more enjoyable endeavor than glitter-coating reindeer poo.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *