It was a pretty hairy scene in Griffith Park as a pack of serious party animals helped the Los Angeles Zoo raise big bucks at its annual Beastly Ball. It’s a shindig like no other because, let’s face it, where else would you find snakes s-s-s-slithering around at the cocktail hour.
Safari-clad guests were ferried up a side entrance where they were greeted by tribal drummers and servers who made the rounds with exotic eats like carne asada sopes and Caribbean shrimp cocktail. There were fashion statements aplenty with pith helmets, jungle fatigues, zebra skirts, leopard shirts, moc croc, faux fur and wooden bangles.
Laid back Jim Hahn was among those making their way past the herd. Like any politician, the former mayor knows a thing or two about reptiles.
Speaking of reptiles, it was the perfect time to check out the zoo’s most infamous inhabitant-Komo, the dragon who tried to feast on the ex-husband of “Basic Instinct” beauty Sharon Stone.
“Yes, I’m afraid that’s him,” said the zoo’s Debbie Learned of the notorious toe-nibbler. “We told him to take his tennis shoes off so Komo wouldn’t mistake his feet for a mouse. Unfortunately, his feet were just as white.”
For something a little less prehistoric you could catch koalas savoring their dinner of eucalyptus leaves or eye sea lions making waves in their splashy new digs.
The hordes made their way to the top of the hill hitting dozens of well-stocked food stations on the way. With everything from Yum Unn San glass noodle salad, to Valenciana paella, couscous to corned beef, duck confit yakisoba from Yamashiro to green corn tamales from El Cholo. This was grub on a truly global scale.
“Seinfeld” alum Jason Alexander and actress Rebecca De Mornay were among those checking out the silent auction items that included eco-friendly Kenyan champ chairs as well as a ten-day trip to the Galapagos Islands for even more animal intake. But soon, it was time to stop monkeying around and see who would be top banana at the live auction. With Christie’s Beverly Hills president Andrea Fiuczynski doing the honors and emcee Jay Mohr rooting them on, animal lovers vied for the opportunity to party with the primates, wash an elephant or name a baby Visayan warty pig.
The ball raised nearly a million bucks to protect endangered wildlife and to keep the zoo’s critters in comfort. Now that’s something to roar about!