It was safari chic at Houston Zoo on Friday night when Zoo Friends of Houston hosted its biennial Zoo Ball, themed "A Way to Africa" in a mod to the new African Forest exhibit set to open in December.
Honorees Anne and Charles Duncan dressed the part in fashionable safari threads, while ball chairs Cristina Buaas and Sheila Hulme followed a more traditional party frock route. They welcomed more than 400 zoo fans who were greeted by African drummers and dancers.
Mingling with guests during the sunset cocktail hour were zoo animal ambassadors including the popular North American porcupine named Ernie. The sea lions provided entertainment with a special presentation.
Back to the two-legged creatures, a striking number of the ladies went wild for animal prints while the gents favored khakis, perfect for scouting out attractive silent auction items, of which there were a ton. Then it was a sit-down dinner by City Kitchen, served under the oaks and the stars. Dare we say that, post feeing time, the crowd went "wild," shaking their tail feathers to the beats of Austin-based band Skyrocket. (The same band that had the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston crowd in a dancing frenzy last weekend.)
Zoo supporters included Annie and Bob Graham, Cathryn and Doug Selman, Randa and Charlie Williams, Arthur Baird, Stephanie and Ernie Cockrell, Nancy and David Putska, Misi and Ali Moshiri, Jennifer LeGrand with Brent Howard, and Zoo Friends president Susan Ehrhardt and Life Member Jane Block.
Despite the humid atmosphere and an earlier drizzle, it was a great evening for the zoo with president Deborah Cannon and director Rick Barongi beaming over the take — more than $650,000 for the African Forest.