Members of the Quarter

Vance Van Horn and Erin Allen were our third lucky Members of the Quarter winner! They live (and work) in Norfolk and have the ‘Zoo for Two Membership.’ The pair came in and braved a rainy afternoon to experience a private Zoo tour. Vance and Erin were led on a guided tour through the World of Reptiles and Friends and the ZooFarm to learn some exciting insider information on the animals they’ve seen a few times before.  Because they were here towards the end of the day, many of the animals were out and about while they were getting their afternoon snacks.  Even Crockett, the Zoo’s Ring-tailed cat (a nocturnal animal) was awake.  The two also had the chance to see inside the Conservatory area of the World of Reptiles.  It’s currently closed for the next phase of construction – the handrails – so Vance and Erin were the first members to see what the area is going to look like.  Read on to learn a little more about our Members of the Quarter and how you can have the chance to be next!

Q: How long have you been Zoo members?

A: This is our first year getting our own membership.  We’ve been on a membership before with Erin’s mother.  She was a volunteer at the Zoo and passed away earlier this year.  It was her love of the Zoo that connected us to the Virginia Zoo.  We’ve been coming a while and even had the chance to do a Behind the Scenes tour with the Elephants before they moved to Miami.  We wanted to get a membership because being from Norfolk, we grew up going to the Zoo and wanted to be able to take advantage of such an amazing gem right here at home.

Q: How often do you visit the Zoo?

Erin: As much as we can, but not as often as we’d like.  I work in Ghent, so I can come over here on my lunch break and just spend 45 minutes walking the Zoo.  It’s a great break in the day.  I’m very lucky to be able to do this.  The best part of the Zoo membership is being able to go even for just a short visit.

Q: What’s your favorite animal in the Zoo?

A: That’s what is great about being a member – you don’t have to have one favorite.  You have the chance to see everything on different visits. The animals are always up to something different and it’s great to see how they change all year long.

Q: What’s your favorite memory at the Zoo?

Vance: There was one visit when we were up with the orangutans and I was standing near the window with the two orangutans when one of them [Pepper] came up to the window and knocked on the glass.  It startled me!  I’ve seen them before with their blankets, so when I went home I went to to take a look at the Wish List the Zoo Keepers have put together and saw that one of the items was a blanket, so I went ahead and purchased it for them!

Q: Have you taken advantage of our Member Perks?

We have!  We took advantage of the Membership Swaps and visited the MOCA in Virginia Beach and the Norfolk Botanical Gardens.  While we were there, we decided to join and become members there too!

A big thank you to Vance and Erin for being Virginia Zoo members and our third Members of the Quarter! If you’d like to be featured as our last member of the quarter for 2019, entering to win is easy. Members that visit the Virginia Zoo in October, November or December, as often as you’d like, and you’re automatically entered to win a private Zoo experience and a feature in the Zoo Blog.  There is still time to plan a visit, the next random drawing will be at the end of December.