by Leah Barker
I’m a sucker for animals. Especially the big ones. I’m that girl who goes “Awww” or “Oooh” every single time a dog walks by me. Going to the zoo always makes me want to hug an orangutan, pet a tiger, sit on a rhinoceros and stand underneath a giraffe.
I'm a zookeeper’s nightmare.
But I know these are all pretty terrible ideas, so I hold back and content myself with activities like feeding the giraffes at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. I also take a ridiculous number of pictures; my last trip to the Denver Zoo landed me with almost 200.
With four dogs, a bird, a snake and a few fish of my own, I’m painfully aware of how the food, vet and supply bills quickly add up. However, my bills are teeny compared to the $1.4 million that the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo spends on its more than 700 animals.
Thanks to the zoo's new “Text to Give” program, there’s a simple way to help out. Many of you probably became familiar with the concept after the devastation in Haiti at the beginning of this year. Text ‘CMZGive10’ to 20222 and you will automatically contribute $10 to the zoo’s Annual Fund through your cell phone bill or prepaid balance. You can find more information at http://www.cmzoo.org/supportZoo/donate/.
Ten dollars will buy alfalfa for three giraffes, five cans of paint for the orangutan rooms, or a thousand crickets for the reptiles and amphibians.
And I highly recommend stopping by and feeding the giraffes sometime if you don't mind long, black tongues slobbering all over your hands. (Yes, there are sinks for cleaning up.)