Friday, August 20, 2010

Hope The Giraffe

So I love the zoo.  I really love the giraffes.  I don't know why, maybe because they aren't loud.  At the Topeka Zoo they are just inside the gate.  I can spend hours there.  Watching them, talking to them, taking pictures of them.  They are just precious.  But enough about my love of this animal, today I want to talk to you about one super special giraffe at the Topeka Zoo.

Only July 11, 2010 Hope the giraffe was born.  Her mom Dolly and dad Jessie are both long time residents of the Topeka Zoo.  There was a problem with Hope though, her rear hoofs were bent the wrong way.  The staff at the zoo jumped into action and within hours she had received her first treatment.  She's been responding well so far to the treatment but she isn't out of the woods yet.

Hope was on the Today Show on NBC Sunday, August, 15 for a three minute remote.  It was a bittersweet time for the zoo.  Just days before they had lost BG, the other female giraffe.  She was pregnant with Hope's half brother.  It was so sad and just writing this is bringing back the tears that I shed that day for BG.  The decision was made that the show had to go on, Hope's story needed to be told now more than ever.  Everyone needed to know that life was precious, that Hope was not out of the woods yet and help for her is still needed.  I don't know if Hope sensed the sadness of some of us or what but she sure made everyone smile.  Almost as if she had been prompted by someone she took off running.  She had zoo staff scrambling as they tried to keep her contained to keep her safe and the television crew safe.  She was having the time of her life.  It was the first time she had ever ran.  It was a joyous moment for those of us in the crowd.

So why is this whole story being told on a photography blog you ask?  Aww, good you are still reading if you are asking.  The reason is, Hope needs lots of treatments and they aren't cheap.  The zoo only gets so much money each year.  Money needs to be raised to help cover the costs and that's where I come in, kinda.  Shields Photography will be selling prints of Hope in our artfire studio.  20% of the sell price will be donated to Hope's fund.  Take time to look at her section in our studio, it's named Hope, it will be growing as she grows.  Buy a print or two and help her while you decorate your home or office.
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