Friday, December 18, 2009

Folsom Zoo Event

Well, the rain, rain, rain came down, down, down last Saturday. I hung out at the Folsom Zoo and Sanctuary for a couple of hours. A few brave souls wrapped their kids up in gear and walked around waiting to see if the animals would rip into their holiday boxes. I planted myself near the front of the zoo and didn't see if the animals were successful.

I huddled under the gift shop porch, trying to promote my painting raffle to the small crowd passing through. I spoke with as many people as I could and had a great time with animal enthusiasts. The staff and volunteers at the Folsom Zoo are wonderful. Even with the dreary weather, the staff had an energy only animals could inspire.

A zookeeper, named Shawn, gave me the greatest Christmas gift after the visitors left the zoo, a behind the scenes peek at the animals. I got up close and personal with the tigers, bears and mountain lions. Of course, I didn't touch, I just gawked. They are truly magnificent and humbling creatures. I could spend hours just watching and talking to them. Shawn shared wonderful stories of each one and described how much the sanctuary has grown and improved the lives of the beloved creatures existing there over the years.

They lost one of their wolf hybrids, Rex, only a day before the event. I felt so sad to hear about it. The staff was mourning the loss. Shawn told me that each animal has their own history and issues at the Folsom Zoo and their staff recognizes their individuality, and differences in personality. Some are three legged; others have skin issues; some have broken wings; others have been tamed and can't return to the wild. Each animal is worth saving and their staff do their absolute best to create a comfortable and loving environment. The animals remind people of how important it is to have diversity in the world, whether it is furry, feathered, scaly or --- well, human.
I'll be returning to the zoo for the next few weekends to promote the painting raffle until January 12th. If anyone wants to buy a raffle ticket let me know and I'll set it up on Every cent from the raffle will go back to the Folsom Zoo and Sanctuary.


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Angelica R. Jackson said...

Macho the macaque passed away while I was a docent at the zoo, and I cried over him. Rosemary the coyote, too; when you spend so much time around them, you really feel like you develop a relationship. Even though I'm not an active docent anymore, I'm still on the email list and so many old friends have passed on.

RAD - Dot Painter said...

Hi Angelica - I learned today, that since Rex passed, the zoo was able to save a female hybrid wolf from being put to sleep. She is lovely and gives all the keepers tounge-baths the moment they go in to feed her. I guess it is a happy part of the circle. I think I will try out being a docent, the training is in February.