You may already know this about me: I am a Zoo Person. If you put me in a new city on limited time and ask me what I want to do while I’m there, chances are I’m going to pick the zoo, if they have one, over any other available activities– and I am a big fan of Potawatomi Zoo, which is our local zoo and is genuinely one of the highlights of the area.
We have a white rhino. His name is Masamba. And I got to pet him today. This was my birthday present from my wife– they only let six people do this a week, and it’s scheduled in advance– and we got to spend about half an hour up close with him. I was expecting to have to provide some sort of food or something to get him to come over to us, but apparently he really likes interacting with people, and despite being way in the back of his enclosure when we came down he came lolloping over right away as soon as his keeper called out to him. Behaviorally, he may as well be a giant puppy; eventually he actually laid down against the fence and just hung out with us.
I was joking about bringing a saddle to ride him all week long, and my wife made it very clear that were I to engage in any shenanigans with the zookeepers or were I to ask any Dad Questions of them, divorce would swiftly follow– but y’all, this big boi would totally have let me ride him. Next time we go to the zoo, I’m coming prepared.