Chicago (November 8, 2011)---Numbers are a big deal at Lincoln Park Zoo; 183 species in residence; 143 years of operating the nation's oldest zoo; 3 million visitors who pass through the gates every year. But the number that tops the list at the zoo right now is 11, or to be more precise, 11.11.11.
That is the day the zoo will be recognizing the nearly 23 million men and women who have served in the nation's armed forces. On November 11, 2000, Lincoln Park Zoo celebrates veterans and their families with a day of treats, tours, and squadrons and platoons of special activities.
Beginning at 11:00 a.m., veterans and their families will have a chance to feed the giraffes in small groups. This exclusive experience, just for veterans is a rare glimpse behind the scenes. Additional opportunities to feed the giraffes will take place at 12:00, 1:00, and 2:00 or until the giraffes have eaten their fill.
Servicemen and women who prefer a less hands-on experience can take part in special front of the scenes tours at 12:00 and 1:00. (Veterans who wish to participate in specially scheduled activities will be asked to show a military ID, a copy of their DD 214, or a photograph of themselves in uniform).
Meanwhile, everyone is invited to the Regenstein Small Mammal-Reptile House to get the latest on armored animals like turtles and armadillos. Meet these fortified creatures up close before claiming your free copy of the latest issue of Lincoln Park Zoo Magazine, 365: World-Class Care by the Numbers.
In keeping with the day's magic number, all visitors pay only $11.00 for parking; a swing around The At&T Endangered Species Carousel for just 11 cents; and the chance to ADOPT one of the zoo's featured animals for, yep, $11.00.
Veterans and their families get 11% off all food and retail and can take advantage of discounted membership at the zoo.
Even those who are unable to attend, won't be left out. Enjoy part of the fun by tuning into the zoo's Twitter and Facebook accounts for numbers-based zoo trivia, and make sure you answer ALL ELEVEN questions.
11.11.11 is the perfect day for the zoo to express gratitude to 21 zoo staff members and volunteers who served this country. The zoo is proud to count you as friends and colleagues.
And to all veterans, Lincoln Park Zoo is thankful, not just on 11.11.11, but 365 days a year, for the sacrifices you and your families have made for this great country.
Author's note: Being a veteran myself, I applaud Lincoln Park Zoo for hosting this Veterans Day event to show gratitude and pay tribute to all of my brothers and sisters who have served their country with honor and dignity. I would ask that, during those wonderful days' events, you pause for a few seconds to remember all those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Learn more about the 11.11.11 event by visiting http://www.lpzoo.org/events/calendar/111111