The Valley Line: Event proves to have animal magnetism

June 22, 2012|By Jane Napier Neely
  • Actress Betty White, a devoted zoo supporter, with a scaly friend at the Los Angeles Zoos Beastly Ball.
Actress Betty White, a devoted zoo supporter, with a scaly… (Photo by Jamie Pham,…)

Yay! Summer is here, and that means the outdoor music venues are tuning up. The peacocks are vocalizing with the Pasadena Pops orchestra in their new home at the Los Angeles Arboretum in Arcadia with programs in July, August and September; Music at the L.A. Zoo hosts shows July 13 and 27; and the Levitt Pavilion Pasadena has begun its 10th season and goes weekly through Aug. 26. The granddaddy of them all, the Hollywood Bowl, has already begun to enchant music lovers with weekly concerts under the stars.

I’ll tell you more about all of these events in future issues, so stay dialed in, music lovers.

Speaking of the zoo, the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Assn., with La Cañadan Connie Morgan at its helm, just held its spectacular “Beastly Ball.” John Lewis, who is also a foothills resident, is director of the Los Angeles Zoo.

This was the 42nd Beastly Ball, an event that seems to grow in popularity each year and is touted as the best summer happening in L.A. This year attendees raised $1,120,000 for zoo exhibits, plant and animal species conservation and education and community outreach programs.


More than 800 animal lovers came to stroll the zoo’s botanical gardens and to meet and greet, in a “walk-about,” a host of small animals with their keepers. There were bunnies to pet, a charming desert tortoise that truly seemed to love meeting people, a cute little hedgehog, a regal eagle, a Hawaiian owl, beautiful and colorful snakes and many more critters to view up close and personal.

And Hasina, the beautiful Rothschild Giraffe, is going to have a baby! The expectant mom still seems very svelte, so she hides her pregnancy very well. The baby’s daddy is Artemis, and he was looking very proud that he is going to be a dad.

One of the keepers said the baby is due around February. I can hardly wait to see the “little one” that will probably be close to 6 feet tall when it is born!

There was one tiny baby to admire at the event, and it was the offspring of a chimpanzee named Gracie. The baby was nestled against its mommy’s breast, so it was difficult to get a good look. Every now and then a tiny bright pink hand or foot would be visible. Gracie is such a good mom, and this is her second baby. One of the other chimps is expected to deliver a baby any day now.

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