Zoobilation set for Saturday at Salisbury Zoo


This year at Zoobilation, the popular Salisbury Zoo fund-raiser, the baby bear will be the main attraction.

Born in January the surprise of zookeepers and the delight of the community, the female cub is learning to climb trees and mimicking her mother’s sounds.

At Zoobilation on Saturday, May 23, guests, invited to wear safari casual, will likely visit the bear exhibit and try to catch a glimpse of the still-unnamed little one, but they’ll also be enjoying music from two bands and foods from about a dozen local restaurants.

The event, from 5 to 10 p.m., will feature items from establishments including Vinny’s La Roma Italian Restaurant, Sub Runners, La Tolteca, Cactus Taverna, Old West Steakhouse, Market Street Inn, Mojo’s and Cake Art from 5 to 7:30.

The bands On the Edge and Test Kitchen will play, there will be a live auction, photo booth and opportunity to see animals after dark, when the zoo is usually closed.

Cathy Bassett of the Zoobilation planning committee said zookeepers will be interacting with animals for guests’ enjoyment.

Among items that will be auctioned are opportunities to sponsor animals and to be a zookeeper for a day.

The new animal health clinic is expected to be open. Needed for zoo accreditation, as well as for health procedures for animals and quarantine, the clinic was a necessary addition to the 61-year-old zoo, Bassett said.

The city-owned zoo is free and a “great tourist opportunity,” she said, as well as the perfect setting for Zoobilaiton, which usually draws about 400 people.

Last year, about $30,000 was raised for the zoo, which is funded by the city, county’s room tax, sponsorships and donations.

Bassett said some people enjoy dressing in safari casual – from pith helmets to animal prints – but that it isn’t necessary.  “You don’t need to wear an evening gown. It’s casual.  Come relaxed,” she said.

“We like to describe Zoobilation as the wildest party of the year because you can come out and hang out with the animals,” she said.

“It’s a great opportunity to come to the zoo. Maybe you haven’t been to the zoo in a while. Maybe your kids or your grandchildren are grown and you haven’t seen it in awhile. We invite you to come out, see what changes are happening at the zoo and check out our newest additions,” she said.

In case of rain, the event will be at the Ward Museum. Tickets cost $60 each and are available at First Shore Federal, the zoo’s  gift shop or online at www.zoobilationsalisbury.com.

Tickets will also be sold at the door.


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