TWOQC On-the-Go Visits Reid Park Zoo

Back row (left to right): Kris Howell, Rada Neal, Carolyn Arendt, Mary Lynn Dubray, Joan Brown, Diane Gordon, Jan Theisen; front row (left to right): Celia Shevlin, Shaunna Simmons

Brenda Rock

Ten ladies from The Women of Quail Creek (TWOQC) took a fun trip to Reid Park Zoo on March 7 with the On-the-Go Small Group. Three volunteers drove us to the zoo, we paid, then headed to the Flamingo Restaurant at the zoo to pre-order lunch for later when it got busy.

Kristin, our educational leader, took us to our first stop: Yebonga’s home. Who is Yebonga? you might ask. She is a 51-year-old southern white rhino, found napping when we arrived. Since her age equates to 96 in human years, she was certainly entitled to her nap.

Unable to rouse her, we headed to the medical facility to learn about treatments the animals receive there, such as exploratory procedures on a snake who had cancer and fixing a meerkat’s foreleg, badly injured while playing (sadly, the leg had to be amputated). We had more questions than time, so we quickly headed to the kitchen where we saw different recipes posted for the different animals, with exact amounts of ingredients specified. We even saw popsicle treats, frozen and customized for different animals. All the food looked good and, most importantly, clean.

After the kitchen visit, we headed back to Yebonga’s abode where, sadly, it was still naptime. But to our delight, it was now time to feed the giraffes. We found the new mama and her baby prancing around the pen. Mama, a bit hesitant at first, was soon won over by the large lettuce leaves we held out to her. She ate every bit and had a smile on her face as we left for our own lunch.

Our lunch was indeed ready and waiting for us! After a lovely meal, the 10 of us scattered to other parts of the zoo. The trip went well until about 1:30 p.m. when the sky opened and the downpour began. The crowd quickly scattered, and we were left hiding under trees, umbrellas, and hoods, our feet getting soaked, wondering if our day was now done.

We began to gather back at our appointed meeting place, by twos and threes, and, amazingly, all eventually arrived. It was still raining, so after a quick vote, we unanimously decided that our day was, in fact, done. But we all agreed that a good time was had in the short time we spent there.

This trip merely whetted our appetite for the zoo. We will return!