Pick-a-Party. Valentines Day “Love Tour” at the Minnesota Zoo

EventMakers creates a monthly "theme" night festivity. We call it "Pick-a-Party." This past month of February we chose to open our hearts to "flirting and wooing" at the Valentines' Day "Love Tour" at the Minnesota Zoo. Animals are remarkably creative when it comes flirting!

Liz Rolfsmeiers' (Twin Cities freelance writer) description of this romantic evening caught our attention and we decided the event was perfect for our February party. We wanted to witness the romantic rituals while strolling down the tropical trails while sipping champagne.

We observed, in detail, the varied mating behaviors and reproductive methods of all kinds of creatures. We giggled and blushed as the Lemurs engaged in "stink fights" scent glands on their wrists and then waving the smelly tail in the air. Komodo dragons wrestle other males away and then woo females with tongue touching and biting. Fireflies flash special coded messages of love. An aquatic specialist describes the mating habits of sharks. When Sharks are breeding, they bite on the pectoral fin, the side fin, and then they hold on as they try to copulate. It looked fairly violent! Because of this, female Sharks have evolved so that their skin is twice as thick. This is R-rated stuff! Your ID must read 21 up.! The bird specialist speaks of breeding Hornbills who exhibit fierce loyalty. Most of these birds are monogamous and the female seals herself in a nest cavity, with only a slit open to the outside world, to lay her eggs. The dutiful male Hornbill brings her food and she trades him her droppings and trash to discard. The romantic and parenting techniques of many underwater creatures are very sweet as well. Seahorses' go pouch to pouch and the female deposits eggs in the male Seahorses' mouth, who then carries the baby. Mouthbrooding fish, males or females, carry eggs in their mouths. They develop into small fries that swim in and out of the parents' mouth for protection. Even Coral reproduction is rather tender and romantic. Their yearly mass spawning, in which they cast eggs and sperm to mingle in the ocean waters, is done in moonlight.

We concluded our Valentines' Tour dining on an elegant dinner and sweet treats while listening to romantic music under a moonlit sky. Some sweetheart couples exchanged gifts and hugs along the journey, while two gentlemen proposed, accompanied by cheers from their fellow travellers.