Training the Christmas camels at Pirates Voyage

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) If you’ve driven by Pirates Voyage on US-17 in Myrtle Beach you’ll quickly see a few members of the cast for the Christmas show.

“I call them my cast mates,” 1st mate Bob Cratchit said. “They are on the ship with us and they make the show happen just as much as we do.”

The head trainer is Jessica Zimmer.

“The challenges are when they add new things into the show,” Zimmer said. “When they add fog or new lighting then we have to get them used to it.”

She says she’s constantly working on making sure what you see is perfect.

“We use positive reinforcement and we condition the animals and desensitize them to everything they’re going to see,” Zimmer said. “We take small steps and make sure they are completely comfortable with everything we are asking them to do.”

The camels are for the three wise men in the nativity scene of the Pirates Voyage Christmas Show.

“All that time that we spend with them they get to know us and we get to know their personalities,” Zimmer said.

The show combines the story of pirates with the traditional Christmas story.  It’s something the cast hopes people enjoy during this festive time of the year.

“I really hope they take away as much joy as Christmas time can bring,” Cratchit said.

Performances of the Christmas Show at Pirates Voyage run through the end of the year.

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