Tails in the Trails event lets guests walk on the wild side

Note to self: gold stilettos sandals were not made for trekking through the Trails of Africa.

But I soldiered on anyway, and thoroughly enjoyed last night’s “Tails in the Trails” event hosted by the Birmingham Zoo’s Junior Board and Donohoo Auto. The second annual event  benefited the Zoo’s summer camps for kids, and allowed guests to visit “one trail; three different perspectives” with the Zoo’s African elephants.  Animal handlers were along the trail as well; at the entrance to the exhibit I got up close and personal with a barn owl (thankfully I missed the handler who walked around showing off the snake!).

Further up, guests were treated to the song styling of  two-man acoustic band Big Town Run on guitar and banjo in the Hugh Kaul Indaba, a covered pavilion and open area which provided a great atmosphere to mingle, enjoy the music and observe the animals. The food was tasty; I enjoyed the passed  hors d’oeuvres, particularly the tomato-mozzarella bruschetta bites and the lamb with feta and mint in crisp, flaky phyllo baskets. It was an evening of “firsts”: I’d never tasted lamb, and the band had never played for elephants before!  I passed on the buffet, although it included a carving station and received a hearty thumbs up from a guest seated near me. 

After enjoying the treats, I made my way up to an eleven-year-old elephant and got to feed her apples.

How cute are these centerpieces: a paper rhino grazing on a daisy-strewn bed of grass!

It was a lovely evening to support the Zoo, and thankfully the shady and pleasant weather made for the perfect atmosphere for people (and animal!) watching.  Plus I got a cool sticker from a friendly dude at Avondale Brewing Company. (Does one ever get too old for stickers? I think not.  The sticker features their mascot, Miss Fancy the Elephant.)  And the band was great; a particular hit was their rousing version of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Bad Moon Rising.”

Go check out the Trails of Africa exhibit (but leave your heels at home, ladies).  As President of the Junior Board Austin Davis noted, it is indeed a cool venue…and you may get to feed the elephants too!  And if you’re interested in supporting the zoo’s mission, why not adopt an animal?

Images via AEB (and I’m no photographer!)

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