Shortly after Nick and I started dating, we made plans to visit the Roger Williams Park Zoo. He’s always loved animals, whereas I’ve always been a little whatever. (This was after a feral cat specifically chose the underside of my car as its final resting place… but years before I met Clark. I think that timeline goes a long way in explaining my ambivalence towards non-humans.)
I think I was probably Googling something like, “Great… but do you have any baby hippos?” a few days before our trip to the zoo when I came across an announcement for a giraffe naming contest. We spent the better part of a week going back and forth with name suggestions before submitting our top choices. Nick tried to get the little leggy fellow named after one of his clients from Romania (I just made my husband sound way more mysterious than he actually he is), while I was certain I had hit it out of the park with Thomas Girafferson. I mean, come on! USA! USA! Likely not a spoiler alert: neither of us won the contest.
The visit to the zoo, however, was lovely. I’m not an animal communicator (despite trying to read my dog’s mind on the daily), but they all seemed well cared for and maybe even happy.
When I was trying to come up with something fun to do for Father’s Day (something more fun than breaking a toe, which is how I celebrated my first Mother’s Day), I came up with some pretty bad ideas. One involved buying a used kite surfing board from one of our old neighbors. I love surprises (for other people, not so much for me), so the key was finding something unexpected… but ideally, not super dangerous.
And then I found out you can sign up to feed the giraffes at Roger Williams (for a small donation, which is a nice way of saying straight cash, homey).
Question: What new dad wakes up on Father’s Day thinking, Hey! I wonder if I will get to feed a giraffe today? Answer: A very psychic one. In other words, it was the perfect surprise.
Nick got to get up close and personal with Jaffa (who will always be Thomas Girafferson to me) while I snapped photos from the other side of the fence. It was really fun to watch. From a safe distance. Which is how I like my animal encounters.
Actually… there is one animal I would like very much to be dangerously close to. The sloths. I can’t get enough of them. When I was little, I though my sister (an infant at the time) looked like the baby sloth in my National Geographic Zoo Babies book (which was published in 1978 and is currently available for a mere one cent on Amazon… act now!). In hindsight, I could see how that comparison could be misinterpreted (what, with the gnarly nails and overwhelming body odor), but I thought sloths were cute and I knew my sister was cute, end of story.
After Nick fed Thomas G., we started making our way back to the car (Grace was about 30 seconds away from a melt down and also, I wanted snacks) when we were about to pass the rain forest exhibit. Strollers weren’t allowed in building, but I saw a sign for sloths, so I quicky
abandoned my family took Nick up on his offer to stay outside with the baby while I checked things out. I was about to make my way back to them, when a woman pointed above me. I nearly fainted with joy. A real, live sloth was hanging from a branch directly over my head. I don’t think sloths fall from things very often (or ever?) but if he did, he would have totally landed in my handbag. And I would have kept him.
I have no idea where this post is going… but I just admitted to wanting to steal a sloth, so my guess is: nowhere good. I’ll stop myself here.
Also On Tap for Today:
- New favorite Instagram account and hashtag: instasloths
- My sister recently shared this video – I am pretty sure I would react the same if a sloth appeared at my door
- And here’s another one – baby sloths getting baths!
If you could steal, but then responsibly care for (obvi) any zoo creature, which would you choose?