Animal Amour: Safari West's Rumble in the Jungle

How do animals make other baby animals? The Santa Rosa preserve explains.

WHILE WE'RE SURE OF MANY THINGS -- including that big animals can make little animals, which has been done with regularity since animals began -- we're not sure where "the birds and the bees" sprung from. Of course, it is a snappy way to summarize falling in love, and all of the intimacy that can follow, but how winged, feathery creatures and little stinger-bearing insects got saddled with standing in for talk of sex, well... The idiom-obsessed scholars can politely duke out where that saying began, though it seems to have early origins as a commonly said stand-in back in the 1800s (or even further back). And we're sure of this: Birds-and-bees-ism is not just practiced by the saying's namesakes. Earthlings of every feather and stripe and gait and genus are expert in it, which means that a day out at an animal preserve learning about rhino love and giraffe love and how cheetahs perform their snuggle rituals can be highly enlightening. Enlightening and important for we humans to know, if we're going to consider our knowledge of our fellow earthlings well-rounded in this department. Helping us be well-rounded is Safari West in Santa Rosa, which has scheduled amour-themed outings not just on Valentine's Day but the day after, too. And better yet? Brunch is involved.

BRUNCH AND BEASTIE LOVE... are the name of the days, which are suited for the "adults only." Brunch and an "ice breaker" detailing "the ins and outs of animal courtship" start the late-morning merriment, and then? Get ready for the early afternoon Safari Sex Tour (a beautifully clear name, just in case you're wondering what all will be discussed). It's an open-air trip around the park with visits to the cape buffalo area, the wildebeests, and more.

PRICE? It's $135 for the whole shebang. Will you be well-brunched and well-informed about animal mating when you depart? Yes on both counts. Will this relieve the birds and the bees from having to carry the banner on this topic? Well, maybe not: Saying "the birds and the bees" is just so darn handy, and full of nostalgia, and sweet. But, for sure: The topic of animal love is so much livelier, weirder, and wonderful. Know it.

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