When Pigs Fly

Whew! A whirlwind trip of flying out, meetings, speaking, dinner with the facilitator and another day of flying means that I spent today attempting to recover. I did have a couple of appointments this evening but nothing heavy.

I learned that “When Pigs Fly” products celebrated the pork industry of Cincinnati (aka Porkopolis) and that the whimsical winged porcine sit atop the Riverwalk. Check out the history on this little piggy!

My arrival to Cincinnati was uneventful except that the lights in the airport were turning off as I walked down to the main level. The midnight arrival to the hotel felt like it was too late and the early morning was difficult, mostly due to the time change. Fortunately my 7:30am meeting was cancelled so I finished some last minute details for my talk and then was whisked away to the zoo.

There I met with Christina Anderson and Thane Maynard. Thane is known nationally as the “90 second naturalist” and has been a zoo industry professional for a long time.

The place was hopping and after yet another cup of coffee, we boarded the zoo golf cart and zoomed over to meet Cathryn Hilker. Cathryn is a cheetah expert and has dedicated her life to the species. You can read more about Cathryn Hilker and her Angel Fund at the Cincinnati Zoo website.

Read more about cheetah’s here:
http://www.exn.ca/Stories/1997/01/09/01.asp
http://www.cheetah.org/?html=news-press&data=tours&key=21

I met cheetahs Chance, Bravo and Sarah. The two cheetah boys just happened to be at the lovely age of adolescence. (They leave mom about 2 years of age.) Anyway, Chance purred a lot but he also was pushing the envelope a bit. The behavior is a new one and is probably going to provide for some entertainment for a while. Naughty, naughty boy!

I also joined Cecil Jackson and got to meet Semliki, an okapi. Here is a snap of the handsome pair.

Okapis are forest dwelling creatures related to the giraffe. Normally they are very flighty but the staff from the elephant department have done a great job and training and taming these lovely creatures.

Cecil is a second generation animal professional and we know some of the same people. The okapi was discovered in 1910 and was the animal gracing my cards if you knew me up here in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Anyway, I got to get close up and personal and the critter got a good scratch. The coat is very dense, short and feels like velvet. Cecil also introduced me to his “girls.” A small herd of elephants who had to show off a few behaviors before I had to be again whisked away to my event.

When I got to the Clay Street Project (directed by David Kuehler formerly of the Platypus Project) I met some really dynamic staff members and managed to much down a light lunch before meeting the team. Proctor & Gamble’s group was from IAMS Corporation. The company, established in the 1940’s was acquired by P&G in 1999. The event went well and it was a blast.

Today I did an interview with Thane for a regional segment on Weekend Edition on NPR (National Public Radio). I am not sure when it will air but I will keep you posted or you can check the schedule at WVXU Cincinnati. or learn more at the Cincinnati Zoo page.

The trip was quick and I wasn’t too happy upon arrival back on the mountain to see the monstrous smoke clouds looming over the valley. Although I know the fire is not a current threat to the valley, it still bothers me. It is yet another reminder to keep your fuel tank topped off and important documents ready for evacuation during fire season.

I noticed that the sign in Fawn Park has been completed and think the colorization and the raised lettering greatly improves it.

So, I don’t have much dirt for you YET but feel free to call with any!



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