Have you ever been at the Zoo where they evacuate due to a loose animal? I have! A couple of weeks ago was the annual Lupus Walk held at our local Zoo. The day started out like any other. I woke up late, frantically tried to get my family and myself out the door in time for registration by 7:45. When we arrived there was about half our team already there waiting for us. After checking-in and the rest of the team arrived we went inside the Zoo for the opening ceremonies. Everyone huddled in their own groups talking and waiting for the festivities to begin. I was snapping pictures of our team. Then we hear a voice on a megaphone “please move to the right of the Zoo, there is any animal loose.”
No one moved. Honestly, this had to be a joke. There was no way that an animal could be out, roaming around!
“I am not kidding, there is seriously an animal loose in the Zoo! Please exit to your right.” Now are we talking a flamingo or a lion? I mean there is seriously a difference!
At that we all took what he was saying as fact and there was a sea of people making their way to the nearest exist. Once everyone was out the doors closed and there we were, a large group of Lupus Walkers with no walk to be had. Everyone found their area in front of the Zoo to wait it out. We were told that it wouldn’t be long before everything would be secure and we could enter again.
During the waiting period we slowly gathered more information. There was not only an animal loose, there were three wolves.
Do you know what the scientific name for a wolf is? Canis Lupus.
Now that is priceless! They just wanted to take part in the walk just like everyone else, I mean it’s practically like they are the Lupus mascot.
As we continued to hang around I was able to meet an OKC Thunder player, Daniel Orton. He was joining the walk in honor of his mom who lost the battle to Lupus in her early fifties. He shared his story on the website and it was so neat seeing him and his family there joining us as we all fight the illness. That is one of the amazing things about these events, we may not know each other, but we have a connection. As we walked I was able to talk to other people with Lupus and hear their story, share mine. We all have a different battle to face, yet we understand what the other is facing at the same time, we support one another!
So back to our mascots roaming the Zoo- apparently there was flooding from the storm the night before which caused them to be able to get out of their habitat. About two hours went by before all three were caught and the Zoo was secure. By this point everyone was ready to get the walk started. They opened the gates and we moved in. There was some confusion because we were not sure if there was going to be the opening ceremonies or not, they never actually had them. I’m not sure if there was any set plan but everyone headed for the course and the walk had begun.
I feel pretty confident to say that there has probably never been a walk quite like this before, and probably never will!