Troubadourable folk buddies Simon and Garfunkel once sang that "it's all happening at the zoo" before retiring from music to live out their days serenely basking in the reptile habitat. Get happening with today's Groupon to Jungle of Love: Cocktails for Conservation at the Chattanooga Zoo, which takes place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, February 10. All proceeds from the event benefit wildlife conservation efforts at the Chattanooga Zoo. Choose between the following options:
- For $30, you get two tickets (a $60 value).
- For $60, you get four tickets (a $120 value).
Celebrating it's 75th year, the Chattanooga Zoo's Education Center invites pairs of significant others and friends to sip libations while surrounded by the zoo's cuddly residents for an after-hours event. While clutching a complimentary chalice of beer or wine or an alternative tipple from the cash bar, attendees attentively listen as zoo gurus regale them with tidbits regarding the zoo's animal-conservation projects and partnerships, and then view myriad animals engaging in nocturnal activities such as Texas hold'em. The zoo houses and respectfully maintains such tropical-rainforest-dwelling creatures as the capybara, spider monkeys, and jaguars, and species from around the world including the dromedary camel, snow leopards, and the elusive casual-clothes-wearing junior-high principal.
The Chattanooga Zoo opened its doors in 1937 with an exhibit containing two rhesus monkeys. Pretty soon, it had expanded to include bobcats, lions, and gators, until eventually becoming the venerable non-profit institution it is today, supporting conservation efforts for rare and endangered species around the world.
In the zoo's forest area, chimps, wildcats, and tortoises roam their habitats to the sound of churning water beneath two waterfalls. Red pandas scurry around a Himalayan habitat, and spider monkeys spin gossamer webs in the jungle area. Kids can play with goats and sheep at the petting zoo, or take a few revolutions on the carousel. With a refurbished frame from 1927, it spins guests on the backs of hand-carved seats fashioned after endangered animals such as snow leopards and low lying gorillas.
Behind the scenes, the zoo's caretakers work to rehabilitate hundreds of animals each year so that they can return to the wild. They also lead conservation efforts for rare species—including snow leopards, fennec foxes, and cotton-top tamarins—and educate thousands of students annually with interactive events catered to school curricula.