cared for by a bunch of human beings without fur coats.
As guests arrived at the Saturday night Zoofari, wearing black-tie
or jungle-boogie clothing or both, they were greeted by Feedback the
giant green Amazon parrot. If you ask why the parrot's name is
Feedback, the answer should be obvious -- he speaks to you what you
speak to him.
Next, zoo handlers and docents approached with snakes wrapped
around their necks and arms and giant centipedes in hand to add a
touch of authentic jungle atmosphere.
After saying hello to Mr. Snake, it was time for a drink. The
signature drink of the night was the Voka Zootini, provided at an
open bar underwritten by 400-year-old Vox Vodka.
With Zootini in hand and snakes only a brief distant memory away,
the Zoofari crowd was ushered to the ultimate photo opportunity with
Thai the elephant. Couples posed with Thai, with more than one female
jumping into the arms of her husband or date because Thai's trunk was
what you might call roving.
For some reason, Thai just couldn't get enough of his female
friends visiting the zoo.
No harm done. The elephant goosing was just the beginning of the
fun. From the photo opportunity, the crowd entered a carnival
atmosphere where organizers had hired tattoo artists, tarot card
readers, palm predictors and every variety of soothsayer to tell all
the beautiful people that they will live forever, fall in hysterical
mad love, and win the lottery.
The lines went around the lion cages for instant wash-away tattoos
and palm readings that predicted the perfect life. All the while,
docents were conducting wonderful twilight tours of the zoo grounds
as the delightful array of animals watched the human parade go by.
The dedicated Zoofari committee -- including Peggy Butler, Devon
Dougherty, Debbie Newmeyer, Ron Glazier, Rip Ribble, Dave Wachtel,
Martha Lesak, Curtis Farrell and Ruth Ann, to name only a few -- put
together an impressive silent auction that tantalized the crowd. The
auction brought in approximately $23,000, thanks to a long list of