Dallas Zoo VP Guest Experience Sean Greene admitted that the Zoo was busting with babies. New born lioness Bahati had already started making the rounds in the lions’ den; Katie’s long-necked baby giraffe Tsavo was still in the nursery; Tamandua Cora eating everything in sight; and year-old elephant Ajabu was splashing around the Giants of Savanna.
Yup, Sean was looking like a man prepared to hand out cigars on Wednesday, June 14, at the 2017 Zoo To Do kick off at the Highland Hippo Hut. But as the crowd gathered overlooking the hippopotamus swimming pool, the talk of the night was about Boipelo and Adhama. In hippo world, Adhama is hunky Chris Pratt. He has all the right moves both under water and on the sandy beach. Talk about a showman.
On the other hand, Boipelo is a diminutive, shy gal that coquettishly plays second fiddle to her boy-toy pond pal.
As for the 150 guests, not one had a negative comment. (Whispered Don Daseke: “I understand they’ve taken the female off birth control, so there may be some baby hippos soon.”) Meantime, many guests were surprised at how the water horses seemed like graceful, hefty ballet dancers as they tiptoed past the below-water-line Brierley Encounter station. Diane Brierley was like a proud new mother as she encouraged guests to step down to the station to check the hippos out.
Others love the twitching, tiny ears and the cubby faces barely appearing above the water line checking out the guests.
At one point a Zoo staffer pointed a hose in the direction of the hippos. While other animals would have scrambled for covered at the water being shot in their direction, the hippos simply opened their gargantuan mouths as if they were doing tequila shooters at spring break.
But the news of the night was not just the hippos and the Dallas Zoo ambassadors (the owl, Gimli the alligator, Cora the tamandua and 18-year-old Laya the armadillo, that was just too shy to unroll).
It was to reveal plans for the 2017 Zoo To Do. Co-Chairs world-traveling Barbara and Don Daseke have arranged for the annual ZtD event to take place on Saturday, November 4, at the Zoo with a live auction that should be more than amazing with animal-loving Diane and Hal Brierley in charge. They also managed to get longtime Zoo supporter Mary McDermott Cook to serve as honorary chair again.
Also joining the Dasekes in their zoo fundraising will be Barb and Steve Durham heading up the host committee, Cindy Gummer in charge of decorations and Kate and Lane Britain as underwriting co-chairs.
In addition to the auction, grazing around, chatting with the Zoo residents and a silent auction, Emerald City All Stars will perform from 9:30 to 11 p.m.
In the crowd learning about plans were Dan Patterson, who was within two weeks of holding a wedding for his daughter in his backyard…Laura Leppert with her left hand wrapped due to recent surgery to handle skin cancer… Speaking of skin cancer, Alan Walne was looking great due to surgery to attack the basil skin cancer around his left eye…. Birthday girl Hayley Hamilton Cogill, just back from a jaunt to Equator with husband Gary Cogill and Monica Egert Smith… Carol and former ZtD Co-Chair Don Glendenning trying out the hippo on the Hut’s wall… Also spotted: Dallas Zoo Executive Director/CEO Gregg Hudson, Quincy Preston and David Seeley, Amanda Moreno and Jim Lake, Barbara Crow, Alina and Ruben Esquivel, former ZtD Co-Chairs Cindy and Chuck Gummer, Michael Meadow, Margaret and Carl Weinkauf and Karen Waller.