Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Madagascar and the Memphis Zoo



Isn’t the Memphis Zoo great? If you can’t tell by now, I LOVE animals. When the Opera told us they would be using live animals during their performance of AIDA, you better believe I was backstage! I loved bonding with Ernie & Bert, the camels, and even enjoyed meeting one of the snakes in the show, Julius Squeezer!

Once I knew we were partnering with the Memphis Zoo for Madagascar Live at the Orpheum, I couldn’t WAIT to get over there. Since I knew I would be doing a video for the promotion, I thought it would be fun to wear one of my favorite dresses and some cute high heeled boots. Ladies, this was a mistake. As you can see, the only outfit piece that is featured here is my coat, and I was forced to explore the vast territories of the Memphis wild in 3 extra inches of pain every time I took a step. Oh well, live and learn I suppose. But this did not detract from the zoo experience overall. We came in time to see both the giraffe and the penguin zookeepers, which is always exciting for me. Did you know that each penguin gets a colored bracelet (winglet?) once they arrive at the zoo? The females wear it on the left and the males wear it on their right wing. The zookeeper knows all of their names by the color of the band. I found this fascinating.

We also learned that there are seven giraffes at the zoo – 5 females and a father and a son. Unfortunately, the son was given a strict time-out. Apparently he and Dad got into a fight over the ladies. I felt bad for the kid, but I suppose that’s just how you learn to find your place in the circle of zoo life.

Filming the actual video was fun too – I think the people around me thought I was from a news station! We actually did the scavenger hunt ourselves while we were there – we retrieved the questionnaire from the lobby and found each of the animals for footage in the video. Unfortunately, most animals were inside because it was so cold out, but today the weather is GREAT so I bet they are out playing as we speak. In addition to the Madagascar exhibits (Lion, Lemur, Giraffe, Hippo, Zebra, and Penguin), I also visited the pandas, the ostriches (those things follow you around!), and about 8 different kinds of African antelopes. I started to think I really was in Madagascar! I even learned that the Egyptology department of the University of Memphis helped in the original design of the hieroglyphics on the zoo’s exterior – how cool is that? The zoo has always been one of my favorite Memphis haunts, and it was so fun to be able to work with them for this promotion. What is this promotion, you may ask? If you aren’t able to watch the video, I will tell you! At the end of each day this week a drawing will be made for every completed Scavenger Hunt Questionnaire, and the winner will get 2 free tickets to Madagascar LIVE! at the Orpheum! In addition to this, every participant will get a special gift upon turning in the questionnaire.

And in a very Madagascar-esque manner, the lion decided to give us an extremely vociferous ROAR as we were leaving the zoo. I took it to mean he endorsed the promotion and would like for each and every one of you to visit him at his exhibit on the scavenger hunt. Hope to see you out there!

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