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Woo Your Valentine at the Smithsonian's National Zoo

For Release: January 17, 2012

Naked mole rats at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo.

To download images, visit the Smithsonian National Zoo's Flickr page.

Wooing is an art form whether you're human or animal. Take a walk on the wild side and learn about romance in the animal kingdom at Woo at the Zoo on Feb. 11, at the National Zoo. Think love has to be warm and fuzzy? Think again. Reptile Discovery Center animal keepers, Barbara Watkins and Lauren Augustine, will regale guests with rapturous tales of reptilian romance. Guests will hear them divulge details about the steamy love lives of cold-blooded animals, like the veiled chameleon. The Zoo's female veiled chameleon wears her heart on her scales. If she is feeling amorous she beguiles her chosen male by turning a tempting shade of green with flecks of blue. When the usually solitary lizards get together, sparks fly.

Zoo Biologist Ed Smith also knows all about wildlife love. Have you ever wondered why some frogs serenade their mates; some mammals leave scents, rather like love notes; and some birds dance? Listen to his humorous explanations of how everything from birds to bees attract mates— and why each technique is irresistible.

Guests will enjoy complimentary hors d'oeuvres, decorate their own edible valentines, and receive a commemorative Woo at the Zoo glass. A specialty Woo at the Zoo cocktail and other beverages will be available at a cash bar.

Hosted by Friends of the National Zoo, Woo at the Zoo is for adults 21 years old and older. (An ID is required for admission.) Each ticket is valid for a time-specific show in the Visitor Center Auditorium. Tickets are available for 4:30, 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. presentations. Guests are encouraged to arrive early or stay late to enjoy the refreshments and valentine activities. The visitor center will be open from 4 to 10 p.m.

Tickets are $11 for FONZ members and $22 for nonmembers. Parking will be $5 for FONZ members and $10 for nonmembers. Guests are encouraged to purchase their tickets early, as this event typically sells out fast. Tickets can be purchased at the Asia Trail gift shop between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., or on the Zoo's website. A $2 transaction fee is applied when tickets are purchased online.

Woo at the Zoo is sponsored by Hitched® Bridal Couture and MIX 107.3 FM. The event is also sponsored by Naughty Bits Brownies, Cabot Creamery, Port City Brewing and Whole Foods Market.

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Caption: Naked mole rats at the Smithsonian's National Zoo.

Photo Credit: Mehgan Murphy, Smithsonian's National Zoo.

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